|© AP Photo/Fernando Llano
Venezuelan athletes who support the country’s president, Hugo Chavez, prayed for the socialist leader’s recovery on Sunday.
Chavez has not been able to return to Venezuela from Cuba following a Dec. 11 operation, his fourth surgery for an undisclosed type of pelvic cancer. The government revealed last week that Chavez is fighting a severe lung infection and receiving treatment for “respiratory deficiency.”
Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado, IndyCar Series driver Ernesto Jose Viso and others attended a Mass at a church in downtown Caracas. Athletes wearing jackets with the colours and stars of Venezuela’s flag stood before an altar, solemnly reciting prayers.
Maldonado, who is sponsored by Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, expressed confidence that Chavez would soon recover and return to Venezuela.
The F1 driver voiced hope that “very soon he’s here with all of us.”
Viso said he and millions of other Chavez supporters have “much faith that he’s recovering.”
“We wish him the best,” Viso said.
Edited AP report