Email this Story
Mar 30, 4:58 PM (ET)
By JACK CHANG
(AP) In this March 8, 2013 file photo released by Miraflores Press Office, Venezuela's acting...
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Holding a Bible in her arms at the start of Holy Week, seamstress Maria Munoz waited patiently to visit the tomb of the man she considers another savior of humanity.
The 64-year-old said she had already turned her humble one-bedroom house into a shrine devoted to the late President Hugo Chavez, complete with busts, photos and coffee mugs bearing his image. Now, she said, her brother-in-law was looking for a larger house to display six boxes' worth of Chavez relics that her family has collected throughout his political career.
"He saved us from so many politicians who came before him," Munoz said as tears welled in her eyes. "He saved us from everything."
Chavez's die-hard followers considered him a living legend on a par with independence-era hero Simon Bolivar well before his March 5 death from cancer. In the mere three weeks since, however, Chavez has ascended to divine status in this deeply Catholic country as the government and Chavistas build a religious mythology around him ahead of April 14 elections to pick a new leader.