Venezuelan Presidency / AFP - Getty Images
(Reuters) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wept and asked God to spare his life during a pre-Easter Mass after returning from his latest session of cancer treatment in Cuba.
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 Thursday, Chavez cried and his voice broke as he eulogized 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...