March 8 - Venezuela's acting president Nicolas Maduro was joined by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Raul Castro and Sean Penn for the funeral of Venezuela's charismatic and controversial leader Hugo Chavez. Deborah Gembara reports.
His funeral drew as many as 30 heads of state including Cuba's Raul Castro... Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Morales). It also brought out Hollywood heavyweight Sean Penn who'd visisted with Chavez several times over the past few years American civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Jr was also in Caracas. Acting president Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's handpicked successor was emotional throughout the event. Outside the military academy where Chavez was lying in state --- tears and a sea of red in honor of Chavez's ruling Socialist party The 58-year-old leader's death after a two year battle with cancer is being taken hard by millions of Venezuelans and especially among the poor --- who considered Chavez their advocate. SOUNDBITE: Chavez Supporter Noel Munoz saying (Spanish): "For us Chavez will never die, Chavez brought Bolivar back to life and now we will bring Chavez back to life every day. Chavez must be in our schools, in the universities, Chavez must be in every house." SOUNDBITE: Chavez Supporter Luz Mariana Saying (Spanish): "Has anyone seen a funeral such as this? Has anyone in their life seen anything like this? I don't think you would see this even in the case of the Pope. The 58-year-old leader's death after a two year battle with cancer is being taken hard by millions of Venezuelans and especially among the poor --- who considered Chavez their advocate. Since his death on Tuesday, more than two million people have filed past his coffin and the crowds have been so large , his body will be kept in state for another week to accomodate the millions who want to pay their respects.