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Venezuela holds Hugo Chavez state funeral

Venezuela

QuestCinq.com/Updated News/March 08, 2013: 12:25 pm ET

The state funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is under way in the capital, Caracas.

About 30 world leaders are attending the ceremony in the military academy and huge crowds of his supporters are gathered outside.

Later, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro is due to be sworn in as acting president. He must call elections within 30 days.

Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday aged 58 after a long battle with cancer.

Vice-President Maduro began the ceremony by laying on Mr Chavez’s coffin the sword of Simon Bolivar – the 19th-Century independence leader he claimed as his inspiration.

Successive honour guards were formed to stand in silence beside the coffin.

The first were formed by Latin American and Caribbean leaders – including President Raul Castro of Cuba, Sebastian Pinera of Chile and Rafael Correa of Ecuador.

Another guard was formed by Mr Chavez’s allies from outside the region, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus.

Further groups were made up of prominent Venezuelans, including Formula One driver Pastor Maldonado and the conductor Carlos Dudamel.

QuestCinq.com/News/March 06, 2013

-Thousands of people have come out onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital Caracas to pay tribute to President Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday.

Mr Chavez’s coffin set off in a procession to the Military Academy, where he will lie in state till Friday.

The government has announced seven days of mourning for the president, who died aged 58 after 14 years in the post.

Mr Chavez, a controversial figure and staunch critic of the US, was seriously ill with cancer for more than a year.

A self-proclaimed revolutionary, he inspired a left-wing revival across Latin America…

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, whom Mr Chavez defeated in October’s election, offered his condolences to Mr Chavez’s family, saying “we were adversaries, but never enemies”…

Source: BBC

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