A mass of Hugo Chavez supporters has taken part in a parade to mourn Venezuela’s former leader who died of cancer on Tuesday.
Hundreds of thousands of people joined the ceremony as it snaked its way through the streets of the capital Caracas in a huge outpouring of emotion. Avenues resounded with chants honouring the former paratrooper as supporters showered flowers on his coffin and jostled to touch it.
“I really loved the president. Me and my family. Because if it wasn’t for the president, we wouldn’t be living here in a decent apartment. And those people who are not with the president, these are bad people. Because Chavez was a good person. And Chavez is with us,” said one tearful mourner.
It was less chaotic but equally emotional within the military academy where his body is lying in state. His coffin was draped in Venezuela’s yellow, blue and red national flag.
The presidents of Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay were among some of the regional leaders who joined the vigil with others expected to attend his funeral on Friday.