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Hugo Chavez

Venezuela's ruling party taps celeb candidates to woo youth

With only 26 years of age, Jesus Casanova has already earned a degree in journalism, is the owner of a South American swimming championship and last year was crowned Mister Venezuela in this beauty-obsessed nation. Now he wants to add a new title to his achievements: congressman. Along with a cadre of athletes, hip-hop artists and TV personalities, Casanova was one of several minor celebrities, most of them political novices, who competed Sunday in primaries to select candidates for the ruling socialist party for December's legislative elections. More than 1,100 candidates were on the ballots, from which 110 of the candidates for the National Assembly's 167 seats will emerge. The...