Venezuela prepares for funeral, elections

March 6, 2013 — Venezuela’s government has declared seven days of national mourning, Jaua said. At Venezuelan embassies around the world Tuesday, flags were flying at half mast.

Chavez’s remains will be taken to a military academy in Caracas on Wednesday, Jaua said. There he will lie in state for three days. His state funeral will be held there on Friday morning, Jaua said.

The announcement of Chavez’s death came hours after Maduro met with the country’s top political and military leaders about Chavez’s worsening health condition and suggested someone may have deliberately infected Chavez with cancer.

Chavez first announced his cancer diagnosis in June 2011, but the government never revealed details about his prognosis or specified what kind of cancer he had

Shortly before his last trip to Cuba for cancer surgery in December, Chavez tapped Maduro as the man he wanted to replace him.

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