Chavez's body to be embalmed and put on permanent display
Leaders from Latin America, and old allies from outside the region, have gathered in Caracas for the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez....
Leaders from Latin America, and old allies from outside the region, have gathered in Caracas for the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. After the funeral, Chavez's body will be taken to a military museum to lie in state for another seven days.With the government urging Venezuelans to celebrate his life, more than two million people have already filed past his body at a military academy. His remains will be embalmed and placed on permanent display. Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday aged 58 after a long battle with cancer and Vice-President Nicolas Maduro is due to be sworn in as acting president. As such, he must call elections within 30 days. Maduro said that Chavez's body would be embalmed "like Lenin and Mao Zedong". The body will be moved to the Caracas military museum where in 1992 Chavez � as an army officer � was captured after leading a failed coup. More than 30 heads of state are expected to attend the funeral including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Cuban President Raul Castro and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Ahmadinejad praised Chavez as a "martyr" and a "wise and revolutionary leader". Congressman Gregory Meeks and former Congressman William Delahunt will represent the US at the funeral of Chavez, a fierce critic of Washington. Among the regional leaders who arrived on Friday were President Sebastian Pinera of Chile, who told reporters at the airport in Caracas that the thoughts of Chile were with Venezuela at a difficult time.