Thousands come out to salute Hugo Chávez

The corpse of deceased President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, was transferred on Wednesday from the Caracas Military Hospital to the Military Academy, where it will remain until the funeral on Friday. The Government declared seven days of national mourning were declared and closed all schools for the rest of the week as well.

Following a brief religious ceremony the casket, with a Venezuelan flag draped over it, was carried out of the hospital on the shoulders of an Honor Guard who placed it into the  hearse that would transfer it to the Academy. Thousands of Venezuelans flooded the streets of Caracas to wait for the procession to pass and salute their President.

Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister, Elias Jaua, said the Government is expecting at least ten presidents to attend Chávez’ funeral on Friday; the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández; Bolivia, Evo Morales, and Uruguay, José Mujica, already arrived.

Hugo Chávez died on Tuesday at the age of 58 almost two years after being diagnosed with cancer; he underwent four surgeries, the latest on December 11th in Havana, Cuba, where he chose to receive treatment.

Vice-President, Nicolás Maduro, is the interim president until elections take place 30 days from now.

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