8 Nov 2008

Socialist icon Chavez belts out revolutionary tune

12:46 pm on 8 November 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has turned his powerful oratorial voice to singing by appearing on a new compilation of revolutionary songs released by his United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Chavez, who is known to belt out Venezuela folk songs during his frequent television appearances, sings an ode to a 19th century rebel leader on the album, released to coincide with the last weeks of campaign to elect governors and mayors.

The president's familiar growling baritone rolls over a traditional harp-led "joropo" backing in the song, which praises the exploits of Maisanta, a rebel fighter from whom Chavez claims to be descended.

The album, Battle Music which sports a clenched fist on the cover, also features a rap track that samples a Chavez speech.

Last year, one of Chavez's aides put together a selection of the former paratrooper's top singing moments.