Hugo Chavez’s body is to be embalmed and put on display after his funeral, Venezuela’s Vice-President Nicolas Maduro says.
The decision reflects the huge crowds queuing to pay their respects in Caracas, where he is lying in state.
Hugo Chavez’s body will be moved to a military museum after the state funeral on Friday, Nicolas Maduro said.
Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
More than two million mourners have already filed past his body at the military academy in Caracas, queuing for hours to see him lying in state.
Leaders from Latin America and beyond are gathering in Caracas for his funeral on Friday, and Nicolas Maduro said the ceremony would go ahead as planned.
His body would be embalmed “like Lenin and Mao Zedong”, and put on display for at least another seven days, Nicolas Maduro added.
The body will be moved to the Caracas military museum, where Hugo Chavez – then an army officer – was captured in 1992 after leading the failed coup attempt that first brought him onto Venezuela’s political stage.
The building will be converted into a new “museum of the revolution”, Nicolas Maduro said.
Hugo Chavez’s supporters want him eventually interred in Venezuela’s national Pantheon alongside Simon Bolivar, the 19th Century independence leader the late president claimed as his political inspiration.
But Venezuela’s constitution says people can only be admitted to the Pantheon 25 years after their death.
The Venezuelan government says more than 30 world leaders – mostly from Latin America and the Caribbean – will attend the funeral on Friday morning.
Among them will be President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer that saw him have four operations in Cuba.