Photo: Tearful Hugo Chavez Prays for god to Spare Him
Battling cancer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked Christ to give him a longer life and pleaded “don’t take me yet” in an emotional speech after a Mass giving thanks for his health.
“Give me your crown of thorns, Christ, give it to me, for I am bleeding, give me your cross, 100 crosses, but give me life, because I still have things to do for this people and this country, don’t take me yet, give me your cross, give me your thorns, give me your spear for I am willing to bear them all, but alive, Christ my Lord,” Chavez said.
The leftist president began his tearful speech at Mass in his hometown of Barinas, and as it aired on state television he was visibly overcome by emotion.
“And I say to God, if what I have lived and experienced has not been enough but this has been lacking, it is welcome, but give me life, though it be a life in flames, a life of pain, I don’t care,” Chavez, who was accompanied by his parents, siblings and relatives, said.
“Just now I could not keep back a few tears when I felt the loving hand of my mother and at the same time the hand of my father, those two hands, one that touched me here and the other there and I said to God, how long has it been since I have felt those two hands at the same time?” the head of state said.
Chavez, who is being treated with radiation therapy after being operated for a second cancer 39 days ago in Cuba, said that he is holding on to “so much faith, hope and determination” in order to overcome his illness.
The president returned to Venezuela soon after midnight Wednesday from Cuba, where he underwent a second round of radiation.
The surgery in February was to extract a cancerous lesion from Chavez’s pelvic region.
The president had a larger, malignant tumor removed from the same region last year, but he has never revealed the precise nature of the cancer. He underwent several rounds of chemotherapy after the initial surgery before announcing in October that he was cancer-free.
Chavez has vowed not to abandon his bid to win another term in Venezuela’s Oct. 7 presidential election.
In power since 1999, Chavez now faces a race against the governor of the central state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, the consensus candidate of Venezuela’s long-divided opposition.