HAVANA TIMES — The remains of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday of cancer, will be embalmed and displayed in the “Museum of the Revolution” in Caracas indefinitely, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, reported dpa news.

“It has been decided to prepare the body of the commander-president (Chavez), embalming him, so he will be permanently on display at the Museum of the Revolution,” announced Maduro before the public media.

“The body of our commander-in-chief will be embalmed and placed in the Museum of the Revolution in a special way: In a glass case so that the people can have him there forever.”

“Forever!” said the vice president amid the applause of Chavez supporters.

Chavez died on Tuesday at the age of 58 after battling cancer in his abdominal area. The ailment was detected in mid-2011.

Before leaving for Cuba for the last time in December, the Bolivarian leader announced his decision to choose Maduro as a possible successor in case of an eventuality.

The “Museum of the Revolution” is an old barracks where Chavez led a coup attempt on February 4, 1992 against then president Carlos Andres Perez, an action which made Chavez known to the Venezuelan population.
Maduro said Chavez’s body will be displayed indefinitely like the revolutionary leaders of China, Mao Zedong, and that of the former Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin.

Similarly, the vice president said Chavez’s last rites will be extended for at least seven days so that more people will have an opportunity to see the remains of the Bolivarian leader. “Commander Chavez will be in a position to be seen for at least seven days more by the people of Venezuela, so that all the people can see him,” he said.

“The body of our commander-in-chief will be embalmed and placed in the Museum of the Revolution in a special way: In a glass case so that the people can have him there forever.”

These statements by Maduro occurred hours after Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said more than two million people will participate in the tributes to Chavez, but the large number of people will make it impossible for everyone to see him directly.

“Attendance by the Venezuelan people is overflowing. More than two million people have been mobilized across the country, yesterday and today, and we would be irresponsible if at this point we kept the illusion that everyone could directly greet Commander Chavez,” admitted the official.

In addition to the sheer number of people, another drawback is the tedious security process in the Museum’s Hall of Honor. Visitors must remove the batteries from their cell phones and security personnel are required to verify this. In addition, no one is allowed to take photographs.

Likewise, all backpacks, bags, purses and pockets must be emptied, and people’s belongings must remain visible. The list of prohibited items includes weapons, bottles, umbrellas, and flags. All such items must be left in an area provided at the entrance.

Since the time of his death, officials have been discussing the place where his remains should be buried. Several leaders propose placing the body along with that of Liberator Simon Bolivar, the inspiration of the socialist “Bolivarian Revolution” that Chavez led.

Maduro said the best proof of the love for Chavez around the world will be shown by the up to 55 heads of state and foreign ministers who will attend his funeral.

 


6 thoughts on “Chavez to Be Embalmed like Mao & Lenin

  • Yeah, I’m somewhat replused by this embalming-and-display idea. A tomb near Simon Bolivar, with benches, would be more appropriate.

    Cort’s idea of the Viking funeral seems romantic, and nobody doesn’t like a romantic funeral (grammar ripped off from Sarah Lee). On the other hand, I think only the big wigs got the boat-and-arrow send-off, while few commoners could have afforded it.

    In my area there’s a place called Lake Shrine, a beautiful reservoir and park belonging to the Self-Realization folks, and it’s open to the public. There’s a niche there with a cement box containing some of the Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes. It’s kinda neat to be able to be near his ashes, and feel a bit closer to him.

    Perhaps that’s what should happen with Hugo’s remains–like Gandhi’s–public funeral and bond fire, then interment of his ashes in various Latin countries.

    I wonder how Mandela’s remains will be treated?

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