Venezuela

Ghost of Chavez Haunts Venezuelan Elections

Country isn't exactly embracing new freedoms following his death

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Weeks after his death, Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez still leads supporters in singing the national anthem.

The late president's recorded voice booms over rallies for his protégé, acting President Nicolas Maduro, who stands under billboards of Chavez's face and waves to crowds carrying signs emblazoned with his name.

Maduro, who is favored to win a snap election triggered by Chavez's death last month, rarely misses a chance to lionize the man many Venezuelans know as "El Comandante."

"All of the prophecies of Hugo Chavez, the prophet of Christ on this earth, have come true," intoned Maduro at a rally celebrating the anniversary of the former president's release from jail for leading a failed 1992 coup.