Spending Cuts First Test for Mexico’s New Finance Minister

Second-time finance minister Jose Antonio Meade is Mexico’s consummate insider, serving under both main political parties and widely seen as a potential presidential candidate, but he now faces the unpopular task of slashing spending.

President Enrique Pena Nieto named Meade as finance minister on Wednesday, replacing Luis Videgaray, the president’s closest aide, after he reportedly oversaw a visit to Mexico by Donald Trump that angered Mexicans stung by the U.S. Republican presidential hopeful’s namecalling and his stance on immigration. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.