The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was laid to rest at a military museum in the capital city of Caracas on Friday (March 15).
Hundreds of thousands of his supporters thronged to the streets to bid adieu to the former President, while his coffin was being transported from the military academy to the mountaintop barracks, which houses the historic military museum.
Chavez's coffin was received by military guard of honour. The former president's chosen successor Nicolas Maduro, friends and family members took part in the religious and political ceremonies held at the military academy where his body was laid for the last 10 days, before his coffin was transported in a black hearse draped with the Venezuelan flag to the military museum. The museum was the headquarters where Chavez plotted his 1992 failed coup attempt.
"Thank you for your total dedication, thank you, Commandant, for giving us back our country," his daughter Maria Gabriela said in an emotional tribute to her father.
Live video coverage streaming the processions throughout the day was cut short, as Chavez's body was about to be laid to rest, reported Aljazeera. Chavez body will remain in the military museum until officials decide on a final resting place. The former president had earlier said that he wanted to be buried in his hometown in Barinas.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the Venezuelan government has ruled out plans to embalm the late President's body. "We have ruled out the option of embalming the body of comandante Chavez after a Russian medical commission report," as the procedure requires the body to be taken to Russia for seven to eight months to embalm it for permanent display, Venezuelan Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas wrote on his twitter page.
Chavez, who ruled the oil-rich South American country for 14 years, succumbed to cancer last week. The late president was recently reelected for another six years. Following his death, the Venezuelan National Electoral Council announced that a new presidential election will be held on April 14 , 2013. Maduro, who Chavez wanted to succeed him, will run as the candidate against conservative opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.