After years of criticizing the church, kicking out Christian missionaries, assisting terrorists and praising atheists, Venezuela’s mercurial strongman, Hugo Chavez came home from a botched cancer treatment in Cuba, then took to Venezuela’s airwaves to call out to Christ for help.

“Give me Your crown, Jesus,” the ailing autocrat proclaimed. “Give me Your cross, Your thorns so that I may bleed. But give me life, because I have more to do for this country and these people. Do not take me yet.”

Chavez in an earlier photo. His hair has regrown or he's taken to wearing a wig

“Chavez cried,” reported David Gerges for theBritish newspaper the Daily Mail, “and his voice broke in the televised speech made in his home of Barinas, in front of his parents and other relatives. The 57-year-old praised Jesus and called on God to spare his life, in an emotional speech. Chavez made his plea standing below an image of Jesus with the Crucifix. He was anchored by his mother and father who both held his hand as a priest led a prayer for his health.”

Chavez then flew to capitalist Brazil for emergency medical treatment after communist Cuban doctors inflicted intestinal radiation burns on him during mishandled treatments for his cancer. Officially Chavez has never admitted he has cancer – and has provided no details of his illness.

However, the broadcast marked a double repudiation for Chavez, who delights in wearing Fidel Castro’s Communist mantle – and revels in his inherited role as America’s greatest antagonist in the Western Hemisphere.

The Brazilian media reported that the ailing Chavez checked into the Sirio e Libanes hospital in Sao Paulo. Earlier, he had rejected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s offer for medical assistance, preferring treatment in Cuba.

But now, Chavez came home from officially atheist and communist Cuba to embrace both Christianity and capitalist medicine. It’s quite a turnabout.

In 2010, he denounced Catholic leaders, accusing priests of siding with the country’s wealthy rather than the poor and suggesting that Christ would whip some church leaders for lying after Cardinal Jorge Urosa warned that Chavez was a threat to democracy and freedom.

During his decades in power, Chavez has silenced critics, grabbed unprecedented power with decrees allowing him to draft and sanction laws without the participation of the National Assembly — and has run roughshod over human rights. He repudiated the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights after it accused him of massive human rights violations. In 2009, Freedom Watch accused Chavez of terrorism, including conspiring with Colombian guerrillas, al-Qaida and the Taliban. Exiled Venezuelan journalist Antonio Guzman-Blanco says Chavez maintains close ties to FARC and ELN Marxist, two drug-trafficking guerrilla terrorist groups dedicated to destabilizing neighboring Colombia.

“Chavez has been sympathetic to the regimes in Libya, Iran and Iraq and has been recently tied to the ETA Basque terrorist organization,” writes Guzman-Blanco. ”It is widely believed that he also has ties to Arab terrorist organizations, and that he provided safe passage to Colombia for several IRA operatives.” In 2008, the Miami Herald identified Chavez’s minister of defense as an international narcotics kingpin. Prominent Venezuelan journalist Ricardo Guanipa fled the country under death threats after he exposed widespread Chavez appointees’ corruption.

“Chavez has proven himself to be no friend of Christians” – or Jews

either for that matter, reported Timothy C. Morgan for Christianity Today magazine in 2009, noting Chavez’s expulsion of missionaries from Venezuela and a number of anti-Jewish incidents blamed on Chavez.">