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Huge crowds of “Chavistas” turned out around the military academy where the body of Hugo Chavez was lying in state on Friday.

Speaking to them it is clear to see why, even in death, they call him “invincible”.

One man said: “Chavez is not dead, he is in all of us.”

Another expanded on that sentiment saying: “Chavez is not dead to the Venezuelan people. Chavez showed us a path and it’s a path of solidarity and brotherhood.”

As well as his political ideals, the former president’s body will achieve a certain sense of immortality. It will be embalmed and shown “for eternity” at a military museum, much in the same way that Communist leaders Mao, Lenin and Stalin were treated after their deaths.

Euronews’ reporter in Caracas, Luis Carballo, said: “This is the Venezuela that cries for Hugo Chavez. The Venezuela that venerates him almost like the incarnation of their liberator Simon Bolivar. In these queues of people lining up to file past the coffin we feel the sadness, the despair, and the anxiety because they’re afraid that Chavez’ successor won’t be able to follow up the achievements of the man they called the President Comandante.”

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