Venezuela decides not to embalm Chavez body

Updated: 2013-03-16 13:35


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CARACAS - Venezuelan Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas announced Friday that the government has ruled out the option to embalm the body of late President Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5.

The minister explained through his twitter account that a Russian scientific committee had investigated the body and concluded that to carry out the embalmment, the remains of Chavez would have to be transferred to Russia for a period of seven or eight months

"Following this report, the option of embalming was ruled out, it was a heartfelt feeling for many compatriots," said Villegas.

Venezuelan Acting President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday had admitted that it would be "very difficult" to embalm the body of Chavez due to technical reasons.

Maduro said the preservation was expected "to be quite difficult" because technical preparations should have started earlier.

Chavez's remains were taken Friday to the mountaintop barracks he once called home and today houses the Historic Military Museum.

The site, located in the city's working-class neighborhood of 23 de Enero, in northwest Caracas, is where Chavez's body will remain until officials decide on a final resting place.

Supporters want him to be buried next to Latin American independence hero Simon Bolivar, a man Chavez greatly admired and named his Bolivarian Revolution after.