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At Mass, Chavez prays for his life

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wiped tears from his face as he pleaded for life in his fight against an undisclosed cancer at a Catholic Mass in his home state of Barinas.

Chavez, speaking Thursday at the Mass held for his health and broadcast on state television, said cancer is a “real threat’’ that takes many lives and that he has faith that he will win the fight against the disease.

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Chavez, who returned Wednesday from Cuba where he underwent a second round of radiation therapy, said he shed tears when he felt the hands of his parents, Hugo and Elena, touch him during the Mass. His siblings also attended the service.

“If this was necessary, may it be welcome,’’ Chavez said, who wore a blue and white track suit. “But I ask God to give me life, however painful. I can carry 100 crosses, your crown of thorns, but don’t take me yet. I still have things to do.’’

Chavez, who has undergone three operations as part of his treatment, is to seek reelection in October.

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