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The man Hugo Chavez tapped to succeed him as president says the socialist leader's death may have influenced the choice of a pope from South America.

"We know that our commander reached those heights and he's face to face with Christ," says Maduro, who was sworn in as acting president on Friday.

"Something had an influence on the choosing of a South American pope. Some new hand came, and Christ said, 'South America's time has come,'" he says.

— Christopher Toothaker


"Pope Live" follows the choice of the new pope as seen by journalists from The Associated Press around the world. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.