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Official: Venezuela not embalming Chavez

By CNN Staff
updated 1:06 AM EDT, Sat March 16, 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
  • The information minister tweeted the news
  • The initial plan was to display the remains Lenin style

(CNN) -- Venezeula has decided not to embalm the body of its late president, Hugo Chavez, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said on Friday in a Twitter message.

The initial plan was to have Chavez's embalmed body displayed much like the remains of former revolutionary leaders Vladimir Lenin of Russia and China's Mao Zedong. But the embalming was ruled out, Villegas said, after a report from a Russian medical panel.

"The Russian medical commission established that in order to do the procedure, the body would have to be transported to Russia and remain there for seven to eight months," he said.

Scientists in a preliminary assessment have determined that the process might be "quite difficult," acting President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday.

Scientists will study possible Chavez poisoning

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pays tribute to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the funeral in Caracas, Venezuela, on Friday, March 8. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pays tribute to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the funeral in Caracas, Venezuela, on Friday, March 8.
Hugo Chavez's funeral
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Photos: Hugo Chavez\'s funeral Photos: Hugo Chavez's funeral

He said at the opening of the Book Fair of Venezuela that scientists argued that "the decision should have been taken much earlier."

Chavez died this month, at 58, after a battle with cancer.

Venezuelan elections are scheduled for April 14.

What's behind the display of embalmed world leaders?

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