Venezuela is mourning the death of its president, Hugo Chavez, for seven days. Schools are close for the entire week.
The funeral is scheduled on Friday, expected to be attended by heads of state friendly to Venezuela, and crowds are gathering at the military academy where the wake is being held.
His coffin, which was draped with the Venezuelan flag, was transferred from the hospital to the military academy where queues of people who want to see the body of Mr Chavez run for several kilometers.
There is no final decision yet where the Venezuelan president would be buried. Among the options are at the national pantheon, Barinas state and the giant mausoleum built for Simon Bolivar. While the former president had once said in a television address that he wants to be buried in his home state, Barinas, his followers want him interred in the pantheon.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro has assumed temporary leadership of the oil-producing country, but he has not yet announced the official date for the elections which must be held within 30 days.
All eyes are on Mr Maduro, a former bus driver, who has been dubbed as Chavez 2.0.
Amid the national mourning, Venezuela booted out two American military attaches whom it accused of creating disorder.
As expected, many South American nations mourned the death of Mr Chavez with Cuba even declaring a mourning period for the deceased president who provided the isolated North American country with cheap oil and cash transfers. Mr Chavez sought treatment for his cancer in Cuba where he stayed for two months.
U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration would support the Venezuelan people as he described this period of political uncertainty in Venezuela as a challenging time.