The announcement of the embalming plans came after two wrenching days for Chavez's admirers. A sea of sobbing, heartbroken people jammed Venezuela's main military academy Thursday to view his body, some waiting hours and hours. On Thursday night, Castro and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica visited the viewing site.
Amid the mourning, some Venezuelans worried openly whether the nation's anointed leaders are up to the task of governing. Others said they wanted to learn when the election will be held.
"People are beginning to get back to their lives. One must keep working," said 40-year-old Caracas resident Laura Guerra, a Chavez supporter who said she was not yet sold on Maduro, the acting head of state and designated ruling party candidate. "I don't think he will be the same. I don't think he has the same strength that the 'comandante' had."
Associated Press writers Fabiola Sanchez, Frank Bajak and Christopher Toothaker contributed to this report.
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