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In this June 2, 2011 file photo, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, holds a crutch as he welcomes Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, not in picture, at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 that Chavez has died. Chavez, 58, was first diagnosed with cancer in June 2011. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's information minister says the government has decided that the body of Hugo Chavez will not be embalmed for permanent display, as officials had said it would be.

Ernesto Villegas' tweet Friday night says the government has discarded the option based on the advice of a Russian medical commission.

The message says the commission had said Chavez's body would have to be sent to Russia for seven to eight months to be properly embalmed.

Acting President Nicolas Maduro announced last week that Chavez's body would be perpetually displayed, but then on Wednesday he said that now seemed "highly unlikely."

Chavez died March 5 after succumbing to cancer. The government moved his body Friday from a military academy where it had been on display to a hilltop military museum.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press,

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