Mr Chavez had not appeared in public since he returned to Venezuela last month after cancer treatment in Cuba.
An emotional Nicolas Maduro made the announcement on Tuesday evening, flanked by leading Venezuelan political and military leaders.
Earlier, he said the 58-year-old Venezuelan leader had a new, severe respiratory infection and had entered "his most difficult hours".
I know that many will disagree, but I feel this is a true shame. He was a great man for his people, regardless of opinions, and I am actually slightly in shock by this.
I just hope Venezuela ends up with a leader that cares about them half as much as this man did. And I truly hope they keep their oil and minerals.
Edited by ExpandMyMind, 05 March 2013 - 10:40 PM.