MEXICO CITY, March 8 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuela’s authorities have decided to embalm the body of Hugo Chavez and display it at a military museum, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday.
“Chavez’s body will be embalmed like the bodies of Ho Chi Minh, Lenin and Mao Zedong and put on display inside a glass tomb,” Maduro was quoted as saying by Venezuelan media.
President Chavez died in Venezuela on Tuesday night at age 58 after battling cancer for two years.
After embalmment, the body will be taken to the Caracas military museum, from where Chavez led a failed coup attempt, after which he was captured in 1992, served two years in jail to then start legal political struggle that brought him to presidency in 1999.
A state funeral with 33 heads of state or government attending will be held Friday. Chavez will lie in state for at least seven days because millions of people want to pay their last respects to him, Maduro said.
Chavez named Maduro as his potential successor before undergoing the latest surgery in December.
Venezuela will hold new presidential elections in early April. Maduro is expected to be officially sworn in as acting president Friday.