Venezuela officially joins Mercosur trade bloc

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks after South American leaders met for a Mercosur Summit at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Venezuela was officially welcomed into the Mercosur trade bloc Tuesday, giving Chavez a long-awaited political prize and strengthening links among the region's agricultural and energy powerhouses. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)Venezuela was officially welcomed into the Mercosur trade bloc Tuesday, giving that nation's leader Hugo Chavez a long-awaited political prize and strengthening links among the region's agricultural and energy powerhouses.