When Hugo Chavez’s enbalmed body goes on permanent display, he will enter a pantheon of statesmen and women whose mortal remains have been preserved to be viewed by posterity.
The body of Chavez, president of Venezuela for 14 years until his death Tuesday, will be preserved, placed in a “crystal urn” and kept on display at the Museum of the Revolution, a military museum near the presidential palace, the Washington Post reported:
Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s acting head of state, said Chavez would first lie in state for “at least” seven more days at the museum, which will eventually become his permanent home.
As throngs of supporters watched outside on big-screen televisions, world leaders joined athletes and celebrities Friday for Chavez’s funeral. The emotional service featured folk songs and a “soaring choir,” the Huffington Post reported.
Among the more than 30 political leaders present were Raul Castro of Cuba and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Escorting Chavez’s casket were the presidents of seven nations — Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic, Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, Michel Martelly of Haiti, Porfirio Lobo of Honduras, Jose Manuel Santos of Colombia, Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, and Donald Ramotar of Guyana — and Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister, Baldwin Spencer.
The United States, with whom Chavez often was at odds, was represented by Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-NY, and former Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass. The Rev. Jesse Jackson gave a brief sermon, the Huffington Post said.
Maduro was to be sworn in as acting president by the end of the day, a move opponents call unconstitutional.