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Pope Francis, left, and Ecuador's President Rafael Correa greet the crowd, from government palace balcony in Quito, Ecuador, Monday, July 6, 2015. Francis is making his first visit as pope to his Spanish-speaking neighborhood. He travels to three South American nations, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis' trip to South America:

2015-07-06 21:06:51 -0500

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the national assembly in CaracasVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that a recently created diplomatic back-channel with the United States is "working very well" at improving communication between the two countries following more than a decade of tensions. Maduro said U.S. President Barack Obama helped pave the way for improved communication in April, after he distanced himself from an executive order that described the South American nation as a threat to the security of the United States. "The president of the United States rejected the decree that he himself signed, and allowed for diplomatic channels to seek respect and understanding," Maduro said during a speech to parliament.

2015-07-06 21:06:43 -0500