Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wept and asked God to spare his life during a pre-Easter Mass on Thursday after returning from his latest session of cancer treatment in Cuba.
9:47AM BST 06 Apr 2012
Very little is known about the 57-year-old socialist leader's condition, including even what type of cancer he has. Chavez has undergone three operations in less than a year, and received two sessions of radiation treatment.
He says the latest surgery was successful, that he is recovering well and will be fit to win a new six-year term at an election in October. Yet big questions remain about his future, and on Thursday the strain appeared to show.
In a televised speech to the Catholic service in his home state of Barinas, Chavez cried and his voice broke as he eulogised Jesus, revolutionary fighter Ernesto "Che" Guevara and South American independence hero Simon Bolivar.
"Never forget that we are the children of giants ... I could not avoid some tears," the former soldier said, his parents and other relatives looking on from the church rows.
"Give me your crown, Jesus. Give me your cross, your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet," Chavez added, standing below an image of Jesus with the Crucifix.
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Hugo, sorry old chap, He is not inclined to give you anything. Not the crown, not the thorns, and he certainly will not listen to anyone who invokes political bullshit with his egocentric tirade about being saved so he can continue the revolution.
You can save some money on your campaign - you will not be around in October to be elected by the few who stuff the ballots and chase away those who would vote contrary to your wishes.
Good luck in Hell and enjoy your time with Che and Saddam, Osama, and Adolph, along with the other dictators of history.