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Latin America Pays Final Respects to Pope John Paul II


People pray and light candles under a statue of Pope John Paul II at the Basilica of Guadalupe
Thousands of people have paid their last respects to the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II in cities all across Latin America.

In Mexico City, candle-holding crowds lined the streets Friday to watch a somber procession of an empty "Popemobile" once used by the late pontiff during his five visits to the country.

The crowd then flocked to the Basilica de Guadalupe, Mexico's holiest shrine, to attend a special Mass and watch images of the pontiff's funeral in progress in Saint Peter's Square.

In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez -- joined by the nation's Vice President, cabinet members and military officials -- attended mass at the Cathedral of Caracas to honor the Pope.

And in Cuba, President Fidel Castro eulogized the late John Paul as a champion of the poor in a nationally televised speech Thursday.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and AP.

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