Hundreds of thousands of tearful mourners watched as the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's coffin was carried through the streets of Caracas on Wednesday. Chávez succumbed to cancer on Tuesday at the age of 58, and will likely be buried on Friday. Venezuelan media broadcast images of thousands of his supporters calling for the continuation of their commander's legacy, and wondering who could possibly fill his shoes.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered his condolences to citizens of the Latin American nation, which officially declared seven days of mourning.
Chávez's closest allies competed in glorifying the late president, Venezuela's head of state since 1999.
"He repeatedly declared his solidarity with Syria's leadership and its people in the face of the fierce imperialist attack it was exposed to, and condemned the American pressure [on Syria]," Syrian state television announced.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised Chávez for serving "his nation and protecting human rights and the right to revolution." Ahmadinejad called Chávez a "martyr ... who succumbed to a suspicious disease." The Iranian president may attend Chávez's funeral.
According to the BBC correspondent in Ramallah, Palestinians mourning for Chávez brought flowers to the Venezuelan Embassy in Ramallah.
"President Chávez stood by Palestine and the rights of the Palestinian people," wrote senior Palestinian leader Nabil Sha'ath.
"The death of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela caused a lot of sadness here in Palestine and in my heart, as well as that of [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas," Sha'ath wrote.
Cuba declared two days of mourning, saying that Chávez was considered the "true son" of Fidel Castro, the communist revolutionary who was the Caribbean nation's prime minister for almost five decades.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close friend of Chávez, publicly eulogized the late president, saying, "His name will be engraved in golden letters into the history of our nations, and his accomplishments will be forever remembered." Lukashenko will also fly to Venezuela for the funeral.
U.S. film director Oliver Stone and actor Sean Penn also expressed their condolences, with Penn saying, "U.S. citizens have lost a friend."
Israel, a nation that Chávez incessantly condemned (and whose ambassador he expelled), refrained from comment. Ra'am-Ta'al MK Ahmad Tibi was the only Israeli public figure to comment on Chávez's passing, pithily eulogizing the Venezuelan president on his Facebook page by posting a picture of Chávez in uniform under the title: "The passing of a brave man."