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Venezuelan president turns to salsa music during political crisis

Venezuelan president turns to salsa music during political crisisVenezuela's socialist leader Nicolas Maduro has launched a radio show devoted to salsa music in an effort to cheer the nation and boost his faltering image as he is struggling to contain an economic crisis and an opposition push to remove him, Reuters reported on Monday.

A great music fan, who used to play in a rock band, Maduro debuted "Salsa Hour" this month. It was already broadcasted four episodes from a radio booth specially installed in the Miraflores presidential palace, with each episode lasting several hours.

"This is a program full of energy and joy," Maduro said in one show.

"I would do it every day ... to sing about our lives, anxieties, pains and dreams," he added.

During the shows, sometimes also shown on TV, Maduro has danced with his wife, explained the history of salsa and devoted a program to Puerto Rican singer Ismael Rivera.

Though Venezuela's 30 million people adore music, especially salsa, Maduro's show has fueled criticism that he is disconnected from reality in a country where millions are skipping meals amid shortages and rising prices.

"Maduro's program is like a mockery," said opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who narrowly lost to him in the 2013 presidential vote and has championed a drive for a referendum to recall Maduro.

"He should have a bit more respect for the Venezuelan people. He is not an entertainer,"
he added.
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