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Thousands attend Hugo Chavez funeral in Venezuela

  • Dozens of global leaders attended the state funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday.

    Thousands gathered outside the military academy in the capital, Caracas, to pay respect to Chavez, who died on Tuesday.

    Chavez, who was in the post for 14 years, was seriously ill with cancer for more than a year.

    Vice-President Nicolas Maduro began the proceedings by laying on Chavez’s coffin the sword of Simon Bolivar, the 19th century independence leader who served as inspiration to the late leader

    Later in the day, Maduro was sworn in as acting president until an election is called within 30 days.

    More than 30 world leaders attended the ceremony, including Cuban President Raul Castro, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko.

    A message was also read out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Chavez's coffin is to be put on permanent display.

    On Thursday, Maduro announced that his body would be embalmed "like Lenin and Mao Zedong".

    His body will then be moved to the Caracas military museum where in 1992 Chavez was captured after leading a failed coup.

    The building is to be converted into a new "museum of the revolution", according to Maduro.

    His supporters want him to be interred in Venezuela's national Pantheon alongside Simon Bolivar.

    However, under the Venezuelan constitution, people can only be admitted to the Pantheon 25 years after their death.

    Chavez was re-elected for a fourth term last October. However, his illness prevented him from taking the oath of office.

    Know the exact location of the national capital, visit Venezuela Political Map