The News
The News
Thursday 20 of January 2022

No Contact With Trump, Yet

Luis Videgaray with Enrique Peña Nieto,photo: Cuartoscuro/Moisés Pablo
Luis Videgaray with Enrique Peña Nieto,photo: Cuartoscuro/Moisés Pablo
What’s Luis Videgaray doing nowadays for the Peña Administration?

Do you remember Luis Videgaray?

He used to be President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Treasury and Public Finance Secretary (SHCP) up until last September when he was dismissed after he came up the not-so-brilliant idea of inviting U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to Mexico.

Trump accepted immediately and flew to Mexico on Aug. 31. The meeting between Peña Nieto and Trump took place at the presidential residence of Los Pinos and Trump flew back to Arizona on the same day. Hillary Clinton turned down the invitation.

The face to face meeting was negotiated by Luis Videgaray and Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner but the ire awoken by the gathering sent the nation into havoc and the general consensus was that the meeting was a mistake.

That same evening in Arizona, Trump unleashed his usual threats to build a wall along the 1,960 mile long border to the cheering crowd of rednecks who joyously shouted “build that wall.” Their screams sounded loud and clear.

Three days later, Peña Nieto could not withstand the general criticism and in the finest Donald Trump style he told Secretary Videgaray “you’re fired.” He immediately filled up the post with then Social Development Secretary (Sedesol) José Antonio Meade Kuribreña to appease the voluminous criticism he was getting. On top of that, Trump’s visit made the president’s popularity plummet to single digits, and his unpopularity to triple ones.

But Peña Nieto did not dismiss Secretary Videgaray from his team. He kept him as a close advisor without an official post.

Videgaray’s name came up again when Trump won the electoral college election and changed his post-truths about Mexico to a less aggressive tone. Everyone in Mexico expected Hillary to become president, but that’s not the way it is going to be.

As the man who mediated between now president-elect Trump and Peña Nieto, Luis Videgaray, now wearing a beard, returned to the political scene but merely as the alleged go-between between Peña and Trump.

The abundant rumor mongers in the nation were expecting — and still are — him to be the middle man who will be present in Washington.

The rumor got so loud that on Tuesday in the state of Sonora, at an official Army gathering, Peña Nieto had to make it clear that there were no negotiations currently underway with Trump and that indeed he would appoint persons to speak with the Trump Administration.

“At the moment, there are no talks, no dialogue, nor any one person that is in charge of doing just that,” Peña Nieto told reporters. “And our relation will be an official one, government to government” after Trump is sworn in on January 20.

But, what’s Luis Videgaray doing nowadays for the Peña Administration?

Peña Nieto was emphatic saying that “in this moment lets not jump into speculations or on the alleged maybes that have made noise in the media. There is no such thing and there’s also nothing in assigning Dr. Videgaray with a given task.”

There is also, he added, no date set for an encounter with Donald Trump, but over the pone both agreed to hold fluent talks in the near offing. Maybe even before the swearing in ceremony.

He answered that Trump’s plans to suspend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) are not a done deal and “it’s too soon to advance any decision making.” Mexico and his administration will continue on its path seeking free trade agreements with the rest of the world and “intensifying efforts on the 46 agreements we now have” with many nations.

But for now he made it clear that Luis Videgaray does not have a job with the government of Mexico, but given the fact that he was the liaison with Trump, he’s been the gossip of the week.