UK & World News
Hugo Chavez: World Leaders To Attend Funeral
World leaders will attend the funeral of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez later, as the country continues to mourn his death.
An estimated two million people have already filed past his glass-topped coffin at a military academy in the capital Caracas.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro - who will be formally sworn in as acting president after the funeral - has said Mr Chavez would lie in state for a week longer than expected before he is embalmed "like Lenin".
His remains will be displayed at the Museum of the Revolution, close to the Presidential Palace where he ruled for 14 years, so that "his people will always have him", Mr Maduro said.
Mr Chavez used the former military barracks to plot a failed coup against President Carlos Andres Perez in 1992. His arrest turned him into a hero, leading to his 1998 election victory.
Mr Madura will be appointed acting president at 7pm local time. He will be responsible for calling an election, which must take place within 30 days under the Venezuelan constitution.
Many of those who paid their respects at Mr Chavez's resting place queued through the night for a glimpse of their hero.
"He's in there, but my comandante is immortal," said Saul Mantano, who wore a hat emblazoned with Mr Chavez's name and the Venezuelan flag. "I didn't want to see him dead, but it's a reality now."
"Seeing him was very impressive," added Chanel Arroyo. "It brought back all the memories of what we have done together in 14 years, thanks to him."
Mr Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer. He had not been seen in public since a fourth round of surgery in Cuba in December last year.
General Jose Ornella, who said he was with Mr Chavez in his final moments, said he had suffered a massive heart attack.
"He couldn't speak but he said it with his lips, 'I don't want to die. Please don't let me die,' because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he was "saddened" by the death of Mr Chavez, who he said left a "lasting impression on the country and more widely".
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what do you think?
Wow !! all this fuss over a South American nobody. What`s it going to be like when we say Adios to Nelson Mandela or Thatcher ?
When Nelson Mandela dies there will be a feeling of immense grief for a man that stood against racial oppression, after Hugo Chavez's death millions of people danced in the streets in celebration of a great socialist leader, when Thatcher dies there will be a minority of the general public who mourn her passing. She will be remembered for the destruction of the UK's once great industrial base, the destruction of whole communities associated with those industries and an orchestrated war to win an election.
Hardly a nobody. He raised the living standards of his people and won 16 out of 17 elections at 62% majorities - something our politcians would give their eye teeth for. If he was a 'nobody' how come all these leaders are paying homage to him? His was an unfinished revolution. Hopefully, the Venezualen people will now complete it.