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Feud Resolved over Former Venezuelan President Perez's Burial

The body of the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez lies in a casket at a funeral home in Miami, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010

The mistress of former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez has agreed to allow his estranged wife to bury him in Venezuela after a feud erupted over the former president's final resting place.

In a statement Wednesday, Perez's former secretary and longtime partner Cecilia Matos and their two daughters said they would not contest the removal of Perez's body to be buried elsewhere.

Mr. Perez's first wife, Blanca Perez, wants him buried in Venezuela, where one of his daughters with her, Thais, died 15 years ago.

The former president died Saturday, Christmas Day, in a Miami hospital of a heart attack. He was 88 years old.

His relatives in southern Florida planned to lay him to rest there Wednesday but a Miami judge ordered a delay until the matter was settled.

Matos, who has frequently been identified as Mr. Perez's wife, had said she and her daughters would not return Mr. Perez's remains to Venezuela until current President Hugo Chavez leaves office. Mr. Perez survived a 1992 coup attempt led by Mr. Chavez, who at the time was an army lieutenant colonel.

In later years, Mr. Perez became a strong critic of Mr. Chavez.

Mr. Perez was elected president of Venezuela in 1974 after a long career in politics. Among his first major acts was nationalizing the nation's oil industry at a time when global prices were soaring.

Mr. Perez lost re-election in 1978, but returned to the presidency in 1989.

Although he survived two coup attempts, including the one led by Hugo Chavez, Mr. Perez was later brought down when the Venezuelan Congress impeached him on corruption charges.