Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks at a press conference in Caracas on October 9, 2012.
In a letter to the Venezuelan National Assembly read out on Tuesday, Maduro said Chavez would miss Thursday's scheduled swearing-in ceremony as his recovery process "should be extended beyond Jan. 10" on the advice of his medical team.
On Friday, he stated that Chavez invoked a provision in the constitution allowing him to be sworn in before the Supreme Court of Justice at a later date if he is unable to take the oath before lawmakers in the assembly.
The 58-year-old president is in Cuba after undergoing a fourth round of cancer surgery in the Cuban capital Havana on December 11, 2012.
In March 2012, Chavez began radiation treatment in Cuba after undergoing an operation in February 2012 that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez’s first tumor, which was baseball-sized, was removed in June 2011, and then he received chemotherapy.
Chavez, who came to power in 1999, was reelected to a new six-year term in October 2012.