CARACAS, Venezuela (March 7, 2013)—Gen. Jose Ornella, the head of Venezuela's presidential guard, says President Hugo Chavez died of a massive heart attack after great suffering.
Ornella told The Associated Press he was with Chavez at the moment of death Tuesday.
Ornella says 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.