CNN) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday.
In a national broadcast, Maduro said Chavez died Tuesday at 4:25 p.m.
Flanked by Cabinet ministers, Maduro teared up as he announced the news.
"We must unite now more than ever," he said, calling on Venezuelans to remain peaceful and respectful.
In the coming hours, Maduro said, plans for Chavez's funeral would be announced.
He did not specify when elections would be held.
"Our people can count on having a government of men and women committed to protecting them," Maduro said.
The announcement came hours after Maduro met with the country's top political and military leaders about Chavez's worsening health condition and suggested someone may have deliberately infected Chavez with cancer.