Fmr. Venezuelan President’s S. Fla. Family To Fight For Body

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(Source:HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Source:HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

MIAMI (CBS4) -A hearing has been set to determine whether the body of former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez will be laid to rest in the United States or returned to his native country, according to his South Florida family.

A statement was released by Cecilia Matos and her daughters through their attorney Friday saying they will fight to make sure Perez is buried in Miami — in accordance with his long-held wishes — until true democracy is restored to Venezuela.

A planned burial was halted in Miami last week after the former president’s estranged wife in Venezuela, Blanca Rodriguez de Perez, persuaded a court in Miami to block it. Perez died December 25th at age 88 in Miami. He had been living for years with Matos, with whom he had two daughters.

Perez was president from 1974-to-1979 and 1989-to-1993.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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