Venezuela prepares for Chavez state funeral
(MCT) CARACAS, Venezuela — In life, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could always draw a crowd — whether dancing in the rain or riding atop a truck through the streets of Caracas. In death, he did not disappoint: Red-clad followers choked streets Wednesday, some hanging over bridges, as they sang and wept behind a hearse carrying his remains.
His brown wooden casket, surrounded by a civilian and military escort, left the Carlos Aveledo Military Hospital about 11 a.m. draped in the Venezuelan flag and topped with a wreath. When it arrived at the Military Academy seven hours later, it was piled high with flowers, hats and T-shirts thrown by the surging crowds.
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