Hugo Chavez Funeral

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s 9th elected President, died at 4:25pm on March 5, 2013. He was 58 years old (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013). His funeral is today, Friday March 8, 2013. Those who will miss the opportunity to attend need not worry.

Hugo Chavez funeral

Hugo Chavez funeral procession

Forever the showman, Chavez is not to be out done. Just like other dictators, his body is to be embalmed and placed on display “for all eternity”.

This macabre practice was inspired in 1924 when Soviet founder Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was placed on permanent display in Moscow’s Red Square. It began a custom still followed today.

Soviet dictator Josef Stalin received similar treatment, though his body was later removed. Others to have received this honor are China’s Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong, North Korea’s father-and-son team leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and now Hugo Chavez.

While this practice may puzzle some people, to me its design is obvious. It keeps a restless populous in line with a constant reminder that old and dead ideas will never be buried.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro broke the news when he said,

“We have decided to prepare the body of our `Comandante President,’ to embalm it so that it remains open for all time for the people. Just like Ho Chi Minh. Just like Lenin. Just like Mao Zedong.”

On hearing that the late president’s body would be put on permanent display, a 51-year-old street food vendor, whose name is to remain anonymous, replied, “Seriously? It’s not a joke?”

Afterwards he became more reflective.

“Well, they can do what they like with Chavez’s body. What is important is that they leave us in peace and give us the tranquility to work, that they stop making all us Venezuelans fight.”

It is highly unlikely that this wish will be granted.

Foreign Minister, and former Vice President Elias Jaua, said that Venezuela’s government declared seven days of national mourning. Schools are suspended for the week, and as we would expect Venezuelan embassies around the world are flying flags at half-mast.

Hugo Chavez funeral – V.I.P. guest list

Listed below is a partial list of heads of state, government representatives, and celebrities who attended Friday’s state funeral for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer
Argentina President Cristina Fernandez
Aruba Prime Minister Michiel Godfried Eman
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
Bolivia President Evo Morales
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff
Chile President Sebastian Pinera
Cuba President Raúl Castro
Curacao Prime Minister Daniel Hodge
Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit
Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina
Ecuador President Rafael Correa
El Salvador President Mauricio Funes
Guyana President Donald Ramotar
Haiti President Michel Martelly
Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe
Honduras President Porfirio Lobo
Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Jamaica Prime Minister Portia SimpsonMiller
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega
Panama President Ricardo Martinelli
Peru President Ollanta Humala
St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas
St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
Suriname President Desi Bouterse
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla PersadBissessar
Uruguay President Jose Mujica
USA Congressman Gregory Meeks,
House of Representatives,
New York Democrat
USA Former Congressman William Delahunt,
House of Representatives,
Massachusetts Democrat
USA Actor Sean Penn
USA Reverend Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Philharmonic director Gustavo Dudamel
Few days before Hugo Chavez funeral

Few days before Hugo Chavez funeral. Click picture for more info…

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