Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was taken to the grave / Latin America News


The late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has been laid to rest at a military museum after hundreds of thousands said a final farewell in a procession through Caracas.

After over a week of lying in state, the 58-year-old’s body was driven through the capital in a hearse for one last time.

Friends and family joined government and army officials as the coffin arrived at the former army barracks-turned-museum where he plotted his failed 1992 coup.

Official television coverage, streaming the procession throughout the day, cut the footage just as Mr Chavez’s coffin, bedecked in a Venezuelan flag, was set to be interred.

On Friday, Venezuelan officials ruled out embalming the former leader and leaving his body on permanent public display in a similar fashion to Lenin.


Communications minister Ernesto Villegas wrote on Twitter: “We have ruled out the option of embalming the body of comandante Chavez after a Russian medical commission report.”

The procedure would require the body to be sent to Russia and stay there for at least seven months.

The museum housing his body is open to the public and the government anticipates that the mausoleum will become a “place of pilgrimage for the world’s revolutionaries”.

Mr Chavez died of cancer on March 5, plunging a deeply polarised Venezuela into mourning amid growing uncertainty over its future.

“We came for the love and loyalty. Life will continue to remind us of Hugo Chavez, the man who opened our eyes and roads,” said Maria Ruiz, a local official of the ruling PSUV party who travelled from the northern state of Carabobo.


The funeral procession had started after a mass and a solemn ceremony in the courtyard of the military academy, which for nine days and nights saw throngs of Venezuelans come to pay their last respects.

The “comandante” was laid out in an olive green uniform and wore his trademark red beret.

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