News Column

Mari Carmen Aponte's Nomination To Be US Ambassador to El Salvador Blocked by Senate

Dec. 13, 2011


Mari Carmen Aponte’s nomination blocked by Senate.
Mari Carmen Aponte’s nomination blocked by Senate.

Mari Carmen Aponte will no longer be the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. Her nomination was blocked by the U.S. Senate -- 11 votes short of the 60 she needed.

Aponte had served as the ambassador of El Salvador since President Obama appointed her in 2010.

She is a Washington, D.C.-based Puerto Rico-born attorney.

On Dec. 6, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), led by Chairman Charles A. Gonzalez, released a statement supporting Aponte's nomination.

Aponte's appointment is set to expire this month.

According to, the Aponte vote was the "third time in a week that Senate Republicans have used a procedural tactic known as a filibuster to block a presidential appointment.

"A filibuster is rare, but it was also used to hold up a nominee for a judgeship as well as Obama's choice to head a new consumer-protection agency."

In question, are Aponte's ties to Cuba and whether Cuban intelligence officials tried to recruit her as a spy in the 1990s. Democrats said the FBI cleared her of any wrongdoing. Aponte also wrote an op-ed piece on gay rights in a Salvadoran newspaper that may not have settled with conservatives.

"The article was titled 'For the Elimination of Prejudices Wherever they Exist.' Her op-ed disavowed violence and hatred against individuals based on their sexual orientation, urging education and understanding," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, according to "Those are hardly radical ideas. Most members of the Senate, at least let's say many members of the Senate, have given speeches along these lines."

Source: (c) 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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