A feud between the widow and mistress of a former Venezuelan president erupted in public view when a judge abruptly canceled Carlos Andrés Pérez's planned burial Wednesday in a Miami cemetery.
By day's end, however, Pérez's lover had agreed to repatriate the former Venezuelan leader to his homeland, apparently resolving the dispute that sent his widow's lawyers to a Miami court for a restraining order preventing Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Funeral Homes from burying the former president.
Pérez, who was known by the nickname ``Cap,'' died Christmas Day in Miami at age 88. He was president of Venezuela from 1974 to 1979 and from 1989 to 1993 but later lived for many years in South Florida.
From Venezuela, Blanca Maria Rodriguez de Pérez argued in court papers that since she was Pérez's widow -- despite his long-term relationship with Cecilia Matos -- it was she who should decide his final resting place.
``Mrs. Pérez's desire is to arrange for her late husband's burial in Venezuela,'' said Juan Antúnez, her Miami attorney, in his request for a restraining order.
The Associated Press reported that Perez's family in Venezuela had wanted him buried next to his daughter Thais, who died 15 years ago.
Matos had arranged for his burial in Miami after a Wednesday funeral Mass. Initially, Pérez's Miami family said the former president wouldn't have wanted to be buried in Venezuela as long as it is governed by President Hugo Chávez, who waged an unsuccessful coup against Pérez in 1992.
Miami Circuit Judge Gerald Hubbart issued the injunction Tuesday night after Antúnez, who specializes in estate planning, filed the ``cease-and-desist'' burial request on the widow's behalf.
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