A political party official says a casket bearing the remains of former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez is on a plane flying from Atlanta to Caracas, nine months after the ex-leader died in Miami.
Edgar Zambrano told The Associated Press by telephone Tuesday that he was boarding the flight carrying Perez's body. The carrier, Delta Air Lines, said the flight left about 5:15 p.m. EDT with an expected 9 p.m. arrival in the Venezuelan capital.
Perez died in Miami on Dec. 25 at age 88, triggering a lengthy legal battle between his companion and his estranged wife over whether he would be buried in Venezuela or the U.S.
Perez was president of Venezuela from 1974-79 and again from 1989-93.
The remains had been kept in a Florida mausoleum since June.