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Chavez's body eventually to be displayed 'like Lenin, Mao Zedong'

By Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 10:11 PM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
Army Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, who led a 1992 attempted coup, speaks to reporters on March 26, 1994, after he was freed from jail. Chavez was freed after charges were dropped against him for leading the first of two attempted coups against the government of former President Carlos Andres Perez, who was later removed from office. Army Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, who led a 1992 attempted coup, speaks to reporters on March 26, 1994, after he was freed from jail. Chavez was freed after charges were dropped against him for leading the first of two attempted coups against the government of former President Carlos Andres Perez, who was later removed from office.
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Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
Political career of Hugo Chavez
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nicolas Maduro to be sworn in Friday as interim president
  • Chavez, who had cancer, died at 58 on Tuesday; the funeral is set for Friday
  • Chavez's body "will be surrounded by crystal glass forever," Maduro says

(CNN) -- The body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will eventually be displayed publicly "just like Lenin (and) Mao Zedong," the country's vice president said Thursday on state-run TV.

"The body of our leader will be embalmed, and it will ... be surrounded by crystal glass forever, present forever, and always with his people," Nicolas Maduro said.

Maduro will be sworn in as interim president in a special session of the National Assembly at 7 p.m. Friday, said National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello on Thursday on Venezuelan state broadcaster VTV.

A man adjusts a banner before the start of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's funeral outside the Military Academy on Friday, March 8, in Caracas. Uncertainty swirled around what happens next in Venezuela as the deeply divided South American country mourned its late leader. Chavez, 58, died Tuesday, March 5, after a battle with cancer. A man adjusts a banner before the start of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's funeral outside the Military Academy on Friday, March 8, in Caracas. Uncertainty swirled around what happens next in Venezuela as the deeply divided South American country mourned its late leader. Chavez, 58, died Tuesday, March 5, after a battle with cancer.
After Chavez: Venezuela in transition
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Photos: Venezuela in transition Photos: Venezuela in transition
Paying last respects to Hugo Chavez

The funeral for Chavez, who died at 58 Tuesday after a battle with cancer, will be held Friday in the capital, Caracas.

Attendees are expected to include Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Cuban leader Raul Castro and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Maduro said.

Venezuela is slated to hold elections 30 days after Chavez died, according to Foreign Minister Elias Jaua.

Hugo Chavez's death draws sympathy, anger

Maduro did not say when Chavez's final resting place, at a military museum, will be ready. But people still will be able to view Chavez's body -- lying in state in a wooden casket at a military academy in the capital -- for at least another week, he said.

"Everybody can see him without any limits," Maduro said. "We want anyone who wants to see him to have the chance to do so."

The South American nation is in a seven-day period of mourning, with schools closed for the week.

Chavez's body later will be displayed much like the remains of former revolutionary leaders Vladimir Lenin of Russia and China's Mao, Maduro said.

Venezuelans line streets for Chavez procession

CNN's Esprit Smith contributed to this report.

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