Hugo Chavez funeral: 'Comandante President' to be embalmed and put on permanent display in crystal casket, drawing comparisons with Lenin, Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong
Hugo Chavez’s embalmed body is to go on permanent display in a crystal casket, it was revealed today ahead of his state funeral.
Venezuela’s Acting President Nicolas Maduro confirmed Chavez would lie in state for at least seven more days, before his body is embalmed and transferred to a military museum which will become a permanent memorial.
The move to embalm Chavez has drawn comparisons with other far left leaders whose bodies have been put on permanent display.
In a statement, Madura said: “We have decided to prepare the body of our Comandante President to embalm it so that it remains open for all time for the people. Just like Ho Chi Minh. Just like Lenin. Just like Mao Zedong.”
He added that the decision to display Chavez had been taken so “his people will always have him”, before telling Venezuelans “You will see the Commandante. He belongs to you.”
Chavez’s funeral is set to take place later today, with at least 33 heads of government attending, among them Cuban President Raul Castro and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Maduro said the ceremony would begin at 11am local time, but did not specify where it would be taking place.
Tens of thousands of people have already filed past Chavez’s glass-topped, wooden casket over the days since his death.
Members of the public were each given just a few seconds to look at Chavez’s remains, dressed in an army uniform with the signature red beret he wore during his famous 1992 speech to the nation that launched his political career, before being moved on.
The casket is currently surrounded by flowers and draped in a Venezuelan flag, although details of how the permanent display will look remain sketchy.
Madura said Chavez would certainly be embalmed and displayed in a ‘crystal glass urn’, but did not elaborate.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...
£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...