12/10/2012 05:17 pm ET Updated Dec 12, 2012

Hugo Chavez Cancer Surgery: Venezuelans Pray For Ailing President

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:

Venezuelans Rally In Support Of Chavez