Chavez lay in state in a half-open casket in the Caracas military academy, with eyes closed behind a glass, wearing olive green military fatigues, a black tie and the iconic red beret that became a symbol of his 14-year socialist rule.
|The coffin of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez is driven through the streets of Caracas after leaving the military hospital where he died of cancer, in Caracas, March 6, 2013. Authorities have not yet said where Chavez will be buried|
Chavez’s death on Tuesday was a blow to his supporters and to the alliance of left-wing Latin American powers he led, and it has plunged his OPEC member nation into uncertainty.
|A supporter of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has his name written on her face while standing on a square in San Salvador March 5, 2013. Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous rule that made the socialist leader a hero for the poor but a hate figure to his opponents. REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez|
“Hate and division was the only thing that he spread,” 28-year-old computer programmer Jose Mendoza said in an eastern Caracas opposition bastion.
His circumstances did not allow him to visit Palestine, but President Mahmoud Abbas visited him in 2009. Chavez honored him with the Venezuelan medal of freedom, and a replica of the sword of Simon Bolivar, who liberated Latin American countries from Spanish colonial rule at the start of the 19th century.