Venezuela projects calm at regional trade summit

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Heads of state from around Latin America are converging in Caracas for a long-delayed trade summit, a sign of returning normalcy for a country only recently wracked by violent protests.

The summit of the South American trading bloc Mercosur was repeatedly postponed earlier this year as an anti-government protest movement engulfed Venezuela. On Tuesday, the long-postponed meeting finally began, with the presidents of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and other countries going on a televised tourism expedition.

Later in the day, the leaders are expected to discuss new trade agreements. The meeting comes as Argentina is on the brink of a debt default, facing a Wednesday deadline to repay or negotiate with investors.