Emotions have been running high in Venezuela following a Saturday televised session in which Hugo Chavez announced plans to return to Cuba for a critical surgery on his relapsed cancer cells.

"I hope to be back soon," said Chavez according to Reuters. "I leave full of hope. We are warriors, full of light and faith," he added before heading back to Havana.

But his encouraging comments offered little consolation to the thousands of tearful Venezuelans, who flocked to the streets and prayed for their leader to make a quick recovery, reported the Associated Press. Bearing flags, banners and photos of a healthy smiling Chavez, the supporters expressed wholehearted support for the 58-year-old president, who is slated to start a new six-year term on January 10 after winning reelection in October.

"I love Chavez, and I'm worried," construction worker Leonardo Chirinos told the Associated Press. "We don't know what's going to happen, but I trust that the revolution is going to continue on, no matter what happens."

Check out the slideshow below to see supporters of Chavez praying for divine intervention:

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  • A man passes in front of a graffiti of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, on January 2, 2013. Chavez is conscious and fully aware of how 'complex' his condition remains three weeks after difficult cancer surgery in Havana, the Venezuelan president's handpicked successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, said Tuesday. Maduro, who is returning to Caracas today on January 2, provided no specifics about Chavez's condition but defended the government's efforts to keep the public abreast of the president's health. Chavez underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery three weeks ago in Havana and has been bed-ridden ever since. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hold his picture during a vigil in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gather during a vigil in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • A man wearing a T-shirt with a portrait of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez prays during a vigil in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • A person holds up an image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez among religious images during a demonstration in support of him at the Simon Bolivar square in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

  • A woman holds a picture of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as supporters gather at Simon Bolivar square in Caracas,Venezuela, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

  • A woman reacts during a demonstration in support of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at the Simon Bolivar square in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

  • A woman wears a pin with a picture of President Hugo Chavez that reads in Spanish 'love is repaid with love' as Venezuelan residents gather in support of Chavez in front of the embassy of Venezuela in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • A woman reacts a supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gather at the Simon Bolivar square in Caracas,Venezuela, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

  • Women react as they gather at Simon Bolivar square in support of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in Caracas,Venezuela, Sunday Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

  • Venezuelan residents in Cuba gather in support of President Hugo Chavez in front of the embassy of Venezuela in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • A Venezuelan resident in Cuba wearing a T-shirt with an image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and carrying a Cuban flag participates in a demonstration in support of him in front of the embassy of Venezuela in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

  • A boy gestures during a rally in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas on December 9, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua (C) speaks during a press conference in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas on December 9, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attends a rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A supporter of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez shows his picture during a rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. Chavez admitted a relapse of his cancer late Saturday and designated vice president Nicolas Maduro as his heir apparent in case 'something happened' to him. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. Chavez admitted a relapse of his cancer late Saturday and designated vice president Nicolas Maduro as his heir apparent in case 'something happened' to him. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez show a placard with his image during a rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. Chavez admitted a relapse of his cancer late Saturday and designated vice president Nicolas Maduro as his heir apparent in case 'something happened' to him. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez show his picture during a rally in Caracas on December 9, 2012. Chavez admitted a relapse of his cancer late Saturday and designated vice president Nicolas Maduro as his heir apparent in case 'something happened' to him. (JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A statuette depicting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is seen on display at a shop in Caracas on January 7, 2012. The church weighed in with four days to go before President Hugo Chavez, who is in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery, is supposed to be sworn in to a new six year term. (Leo Ramirez/Getty Images)

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