The process of embalming a body for a few days or many years is essentially the same, note Fountain and Camilo Jaramillo, a Colombian embalmer and alumnus of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service.(from story " ... Here Are Some Gross Details" at theblaze.com)
“The difference when one wants to preserve a body for a long time is that the doctors apply more-concentrated amounts of the chemicals,” Jaramillo said. “It is a much slower process and must be done very carefully. … Indefinite preservation really doesn’t exist. … It requires periodic maintenance. … But no embalming stops decomposition; it only slows it,” he said.
The time it takes a body to deteriorate varies on the health and weight of the deceased and other environmental factors, including whether the body was refrigerated immediately after death. Regardless, the key is to embalm as soon as possible after death.
Ideally, a body would be embalmed “the very day or next morning, rather than three or five or six days down the road,” Fountain said. “But it’s not impossible. I have embalmed bodies that have been refrigerated for six months.”
Confronted with such a never-ending and unsavory task, why do countries such as Russia, China, Vietnam, and now Venezuela, go to such lengths to preserve their leaders’ remains?
“The decision to embalm Chávez is an attempt to include him in a pantheon of communist deities,” said Nina Tumarkin, a professor of history at Wellesley College and the author of “Lenin Lives! The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia.”
“It’s a throwback to Soviet, communist times, and it might seem obsolete, but it might be the only pantheon where he belongs. Better to belong to the wrong club than none at all.”
(from "There Hugo Again" at hopenchangecartoons.blogspot.com)