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Venezuela rules out idea of embalming Chavez

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Caracas, Mar 16 (EFE).- The Venezuelan government announced that it has now ruled out embalming the body of Hugo Chavez after receiving a report from a Russian medical commission, which said that carrying out the procedure would mean removing the late leader's remains to Russia for at least seven months.

"The possibility of embalming the body of Comandante Chavez has been ruled out as a result of the Russian medical commission's report," Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas wrote Friday on Twitter.

The minister also said that a "Russian medical commission determined that to carry out the procedure, the body would have to be removed to Russia for a period of between seven and eight months."

He wound up the announcement by repeating that "following this report, we have ruled out the embalming, which was the heartfelt wish of many of our compatriots."

The body of the late president was taken Friday to the site of a planned Museum of the Bolivarian Revolution, to be built at the barracks then-Lt. Col. Chavez used as a command post during his failed coup in 1992, and will remain there until the site of his final resting place is decided.

The body had lain in state for over a week at the Military Academy where thousands of people came to file past it and pay their last respects to the socialist leader.

On March 7, the Venezuelan government said the body of late President Hugo Chavez, who had died two days earlier of a heart attack after battling cancer for 21 months, would be preserved and kept on display in a glass tomb in the manner of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130316/venezuela-rules-out-idea-embalming-chavez