CARACAS, Venezuela – The head of Venezuela's presidential guard says President Hugo Chavez died of a massive heart attack after great suffering.
The general told The Associated Press late Wednesday that he was with Venezuela's socialist president at the moment of his death Tuesday.
Gen. Jose Ornella said that in his final moments Chavez could not speak aloud, but mouthed: "I don't want to die. Please don't let me die."
Ornella spent the last two years with Chavez as the president battled an unspecified cancer in the pelvic region. He spoke to the AP outside the military academy where Chavez's body lay in state.
Ornella said Chavez's cancer was very advanced when he died but offered no details.
The government has said Chavez suffered a severe new respiratory infection.