As he presented subsidized homes on state-run television, Maduro said that Chavez was "battling for his health, for his life and we are accompanying him."
"Do you know why he neglected his health?" the vice president asked.
"Because he gave his body and soul completely and forgot all his obligations to himself to give the people a fatherland, to give those who had nothing a job, a life, a house, health, food, education."
Chavez has not spoken or appeared in public since undergoing a fourth round of cancer surgery in Cuba on December 11.
Only one set of pictures were released on December 15, showing him in his Havana hospital bed, smiling with two of his daughters. He spent two months in the Cuban capital before returning to Venezuela in the dead of night on February 18.