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Mourning begins in Venezuela

12:50 PM, Mar 6, 2013   |    comments
Juan Barreto, AFP/Getty Images
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CARACAS, Venezuela  --  A week of national mourning is under way in Venezuela, after the death of President Hugo Chavez.

The streets of the capital are empty, as public employees, schoolchildren and many others stay home. But with Venezuela facing an uncertain future, many have flocked to supermarkets and gas stations to stock up on supplies.

Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's vice president, will continue to run Venezuela as interim president, and will be the candidate of the governing socialists in an election that will take place within 30 days. State TV says the country's defense minister has pledged military support for Maduro's candidacy, despite a constitutional mandate that the armed forces play a non-political role.

Chavez supporters camped out all night outside the military hospital where he died.

His body will remain at a military academy until a Friday funeral that is expected to draw leaders from all over Latin America and the world.

The Associated Press

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