Chavismo in Venezuela permeates everything, often quite passionately.
Since President Hugo Chavez’s passing in 2013 even pop music is making room for the Bolivarian revolution.
“It saddens me not seeing you again, and I think of everything I learned. I follow your steps, your giant steps, and look forward, commander,” sings the pretty girl, who happens to be daughter of the second most powerful man in the country after President Nicolas Maduro.
Daniella Cabello, the young daughter of Chavez’s right hand and longtime head of Congress Diosdado Cabello, is at the center of this music phenomenon. She burst onto the airwaves last year with “Gotas de Lluvia” (“Drops of Rain”), which was presented as a tribute to Chávez.
Since then Cabello has released three more songs, all about Chávez and his government’s accomplishments, the last of which contains lyrics by his father and serves as the opening of his TV weekly show “Con el Mazo Dando.”
She even has a version of John Lennon’s "Imagine” casting Venezuela as a “nation of peace,” which was used in an official government TV spot to counter President Barack Obama's executive order against seven senior Venezuelan officials.
The Chavista pop songs are also made into music videos that appear on state-owned TV during commercial breaks. It is usually Chávez, and sometimes Maduro, the leitmotif of the catchy melodies.
“Live your life. Give it joy. Listen well to what I am saying. No more barriers for feelings. Chávez, the people’s heart,” read the lyrics of one of the first ones songs on Chavez, released when he was still alive and was used in his last presidential campaign.
With a huge economic crisis, an inflation rate above 65 percent, and shortages of an array of basic goods from food to personal hygiene products, the government is appealing to emotional songs even more frequently.
“People from popular segments of the society are starting to realize that something is wrong,” Justo Morao, a local expert in electoral advertising and a graduate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, told Fox News Latino.
“That’s why they intensified the use of Chávez’s image and try to link Maduro to it. The lyrics are very sentimental because they appeal to emotions, rather than rationality.”
The titles of some of the Chavista tracks are “Stay Together,” “Chávez Will Continue With You” and “Maduro, From My Heart.”
“They are trying to give an urban and modern tone to what has been a rural revolution,” Morao said. “With this, they target young and idealistic adults who believe in the revolution.”
Some songs are performed by well-established artists, like merengue star Omar Enrique, pop singer Hany Kauam, boy band Los Cadillacs and Antonio Álvarez, a baseball player turned reggaeton performer.
Álvarez since gave up his singing career for politics. Last year, he was appointed head of the sports ministry and he is running for Congress.
“This works just like with commercial advertising,” Morao explained. “They are renovating the brand and strengthening the new product, which is Maduro.”
Franz von Bergen is a freelancer reporter living in Caracas.