Chavez, 56, is back in Cuba for treatment after doctors removed a malignant tumor last month, insisting he would be away for a “few days.”
He has delegated some presidential powers to his ministers but resisted opposition calls to hand over all powers during his absence.
“We’re going to give it everything we’ve got,” he said of the therapy. “It’s not time to die, it’s time to live.”
Vice-President Elias Jaua would oversee the expropriation of businesses and a number of budget-related duties while Chavez is receiving treatment in Cuba. Finance Minister Jorge Giordani would also temporarily take on some additional duties.
Officially, he still plans to run for re-election in late 2012.