More than 20 world leaders are expected to attend the funeral today, but there will be no burial as he will be embalmed.
Thousands flocked to the streets of Caracas to see the coffin of Chavez travel through the city to lie in state until Friday's funeral.
A look back at the life of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who has died at the age of 58 after a two-year battle with cancer.
The head of Venezuela's presidential guard says a heart attack killed a suffering Hugo Chavez, the Associated Press reports.
General Jose Ornella also said Chavez mouthed his desire to live during his final moments:
He couldn't speak, but he said it with his lips ... 'I don't want to die. Please don't let me die,' because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country.
Venezuelan authorities have not said what kind of cancer Chavez had or specified exactly where tumors were removed.
There was near-hysteria on the streets in Venezuela today following the death of President Hugo Chavez, whose passing has created a power vacuum in the country.
International Editor Billy Neely reports:
Tens of thousands of mourners have packed the streets of Venezuela's capital to see the coffin of President Hugo Chavez being paraded through the city.
'Comandante' Chavez dominated politics in Venezuela for longer than any other democratically-elected leader in the Americas, and many loved him for it.
ITV News International Editor Bill Neely reports on the extraordinary scenes from Caracas:
Bolivia's President Evo Morales accompanied Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro and crowds of mourners to follow Hugo Chavez's casket through the streets of Caracas.
Morales was one of Chavez's closest allies and the two socialist leaders shared many political aims.
Members of the UN Security Council have held a minute's silence in honour of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, according to reporters at the UN.
The request was reportedly made by Russia's envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
Thousands of people are lining the streets of Caracas to catch a glimpse of President Hugo Chavez's casket driving past.
The casket is draped with the Venezuelan national flag and is flanked by members of the presidential guard of honour.
Hugo Chavez's casket is being transported through the streets of Venezuela's capital Caracas to the military academy, where is will lie in state on Thursday.
Grieving multitudes are lining the streets of the parade route, many shouting "Chavez to the pantheon!" - referring to a mausoleum he had built to house the remains of independence hero Simon Bolivar.
President Hugo Chavez's casket has been seen in public for the first time.
A priest led a short service honouring the leader before the casket was carried into a crowded street in the capital Caracas and loaded onto a hearse.