Venezuela election date set

Venezuela will hold a presidential election on April 14 as acting President Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez, tries to win his own term in office.

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World leaders and celebrities attending Chavez funeral

Among some 30 world leaders and other dignitaries attending Hugo Chavez's funeral are the following:

  • President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran
  • President Raul Castro of Cuba
  • President Evo Morales of Bolivia
  • President Rafael Correa of Ecuador
  • President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil
  • Film actor and director Sean Penn
  • President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus
  • US civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson

About 50 countries have sent delegations, including the US and Canada.

Chavez's home town pays tribute to its famous son

Portraits and flowers set up in the centre of Sabaneta, Barinas State Credit: RTV

Portraits and flowers have been left in the centre of Sabaneta, Barinas State - Hugo Chavez's home town.

Crowds have gathered at the makeshift shrine to pay their respects, the president funeral will happen today after his death at 58 after a two-year battle with cancer.

A supporter raises his fist in salute before the Credit: RTV
Crowds gathered in the centre of Sabaneta Credit: RTV

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Huge crowds gather in Caracas ahead of Hugo Chavez funeral

A massive crowd has gathered outside the Military Academy where the body of Hugo Chavez has lain in state since his death Credit: RTV

Huge crowds gathered again outside the Military Academy where the body of Hugo Chavez has lain in state since his death.

His funeral is due to start shortly.

Yesterday dozens were injured in the crush to view the president's body.

Ahmadinejad praises 'dear friend' Hugo Chavez ahead of funeral

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arriving in Caracas for the funeral of Hugo Chavez Credit: RTV

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Caracas for funeral of ally and 'close friend' President Hugo Chavez.

Speaking to reporters President Ahmadinejad said;

"He was a dear friend to all the countries of the world. To us, President's Chavez loss is very painful because we've lost a friend, a close friend and a revolutionary and just leader. To me, he had a big personality and a very close friend and brother. I feel like I lost myself."

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez pictured together during a previous trip to Caracas Credit: RTV

"He was a great man with very big, humane dreams. I express my solidarity with the people of Venezuela, with all of the people of Latin America and with all the countries of the world. And we promise to realize and materialize his ideas which were so valuable.

"I am certain God will help us and the spirit of President Chavez will be watching us and will help us from the heavens."

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Hugo Chavez' body to be permanently on display

Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro has just announced on national TV that Hugo Chavez's funeral will take place tomorrow morning.

Around 30 heads of state are expected to attend along with delegations from 50 countries.

Maduro also said that Chavez's body will return to lying in state for public viewing for seven further days after the funeral to allow more people to see him.

Chavez's body will then be preserved like that of Lenin and Mao Zedong so "he will always be with the people". A special tomb is now under construction in the mountains where he launched his revolution.

Maduro again called for calm and thanked the public for respecting the solemnity of the occasion.

Chavez to lie in state for a further seven days

The body of Venezuela's late president Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and laid to rest at a military museum in the capital Caracas.

A supporter of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gestures as she views his coffin. Credit: REUTERS/Miraflores Palace

Acting President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez would lie in state for a further seven days so Venezuelans waiting in long lines to view him would be able to do so.

Maduro added that his body would later to moved from the military museum to his final burial site. It was not immediately clear where that would be.

Hundreds of thousands queue to bid Chavez farewell

Dozens of people were injured in a crush today as hundreds of thousands of people queued to see the mortal remains of Hugo Chavez.

A continuous stream of mourners filed past the leader's open casket in the Military Academy in Venezuela's capital Caracas.

A soldier tries to maintain order as supporters of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez wait on line to view his body Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

Outside the Academy, riot police struggled to maintain order and were seen carrying away several people injured in the crush.

Barriers failed to hold back the surge of people, some of whom had waited for more than 18 hours to bid their leader farewell.

Mourners stand in line to view his body in state at the Military Academy in Caracas Credit: REUTERS/Mariana Bazo
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