Chavez body laid to rest at Caracas military museum

Chavez body laid to rest at Caracas military museum

PanARMENIAN.Net - The body of Hugo Chavez has been laid to rest at a military museum in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, BBC News reported.

Thousands of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the hearse as it carried his coffin from the military academy where it laid in state for 10 days.

Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died of cancer last week.

His coffin was received by a military guard of honour. Religious and political ceremonies were held at the military museum, attended by Chavez's chosen successor Nicolas Maduro.

It is not yet clear what will happen to Chavez's body in the longer term. Maduro asked the National Assembly to reform the constitution to allow Chavez's body to be buried in the National Pantheon, together with the most important leaders in Venezuela's history.

Chavez, for his part, had said he wanted to be buried in his hometown in Barinas.

After Friday, March 15 ceremonies, the country's Information Minister, Ernesto Villegas, said the government had dropped plans to embalm Chavez for permanent display.

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have visited the coffin of their former leader.

Shortly after his death was announced on 5 March, the government declared seven days of mourning, which was later extended to 10 days.

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