Even in death, Hugo Chavez's orders are being followed. The man he anointed to succeed him, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, will continue to run Venezuela as interim president and be the candidate in an election to be called within 30 days.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua confirmed that on Tuesday, just hours after Maduro, tears running down his face, announced the death of Chavez.
It was not immediately clear when the presidential vote will be held.
Considerable funereal pageantry was expected to honor Chavez who was adored among Venezuela's poor for putting the oil-rich state in their service.
Seven days of mourning were declared, all school was suspended for the week, and friendly heads of state were expected for an elaborate funeral on Friday. No date or place were announced for Chavez's burial.
Some in anguish, some in fear, Venezuelans raced for home and stocked up on food and water after the government announced Chavez's death, declining to say what exactly killed him. On Monday night, the government had said the president had been weakened by a severe, new respiratory infection.