'Don't take me yet,' pleads Chavez after radiation therapy


Click to follow
The Independent US

The President, Hugo Chavez, has spoken emotionally about his struggle with cancer after returning from his latest round of radiation treatment in Cuba.

Mr Chavez, who has become more openly religious since the onset of his illness, shed tears while attending a Mass with his family on Thursday.

"Give me life even if it's ... painful life. I don't care," he said. "Christ, give me your crown. Give it to me, I will bleed ... Give me life because I still have things to do for these people. Don't take me yet."

The 57-year-old has vowed to overcome cancer and is running for re-election in October. During the Mass he sat holding hands with his mother and father while a priest led a prayer for his health. "I couldn't avoid several tears," he said.

Mr Chavez says he has been recovering well since surgery in February that removed a second tumour from his pelvic region. "So far, fortunately there hasn't been any adverse reaction to the treatment," he said. "All the examinations have shown positive results of physical recovery."

He has regularly travelled to Cuba for treatment since last June, when he said an initial surgery removed a tumour the size of a baseball. However, he has not identified the type of cancer nor the precise location where the tumours have been removed.