World leaders pay tribute at Hugo Chavez`s funeral

Last Updated: Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 00:55

Zeenews Bureau

Caracas: Prominent leaders from Latin America and around the world converged here to attend the funeral of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez on Friday.

Chavez`s funeral particularly attracted the anti-US magnates like Cuba`s Raul Castro, Iran`s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko.

Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot is representing India at the state funeral in Caracas.

Funeral services were done to lay Chavez`s body after embalming, to be kept on display in a glass tomb in the manner of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

The tomb will rest inside a future Museum of the Bolivarian Revolution, to be built at the barracks then-Lt. Col. Chavez used as a command post during his failed coup in 1992, Maduro said from the Military Academy, where the leftist president`s body now lies in state.

"So, like Ho Chi Minh, like Lenin, like Mao Zedong, the body of our commander-in-chief will remain embalmed ... for our people to be able to have him forever," Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.

Maduro also said Chavez`s body will remain at the Military Academy for at least seven more days "for all the people to be able to see him, without limitation".

Chavez, 58, died Tuesday of a heart attack after battling cancer for 21 months.

The streets of Caracas are bathed in red in honour of Chavez, who made the colour the symbol of his Bolivarian Revolution.

Thousands of red-clad Venezuelans lined the streets Wednesday as Chavez`s coffin was carried from the Military Hospital to the Military Academy, where people stood in line as long as 10 hours for an opportunity to get a glimpse.

Chavez underwent four operations, as well as courses of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, since first being diagnosed with cancer in June 2011.

He spent more than two months in Cuba due to complications that followed his Dec 11 cancer surgery in Havana.

First elected in 1998, Chavez won another six-year term in last October`s election.

New elections are to be held within 30 days and Maduro is expected to be the candidate of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 - 22:52

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