Prayers are being said across Venezuela for President Hugo Chávez who is battling complications brought on by an operation for cancer.
The 58-year-old is said to be in a stable condition in hospital in Havana.
The procedure in December was the fourth in 18 months.
“I want him to recover and come home soon,” one woman told reporters. “This is bringing us together, there is no opposition, nothing bad. It is like a hymn, everyone joining in the same prayer so that he comes back to complete his mission and continue living like he deserves.”
The main New Year’s Eve party in downtown Caracas was cancelled. Instead the Information Minister hosted a smaller gathering featuring music, speeches and prayers.
The government has warned Venezuelans to prepare for difficult days ahead and urged them to pray for Chávez.