Senate Republicans block confirmation of an excellent ambassador
I had an appointment today to meet with US Ambassador to El Salvador Mari Carmen Aponte. She wasn't able to meet, however, because she had flown to Washington the night before for an impending Senate vote on her confirmation as ambassador. Unfortunately for Ambassador Aponte, when she returns to El Salvador, it will be to start to pack her bags since Senate Republicans refused to let her nomination make its way through the Senate. The Washington Post reported a short time ago:
The Senate on Monday blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to El Salvador as Republicans opposed the selection over unfounded rumors that her boyfriend of years ago was a Cuban spy and new conservative outrage over a summertime op-ed on gay rights.
Mari Carmen Aponte, a Washington lawyer and Hispanic activist, has served as ambassador in San Salvador since September 2010 after Obama, in response to Republican opposition to her nomination, made her a recess appointee. But her temporary tenure is to run out at the end of the year.
On a vote of 49-37, the Senate refused to move ahead with the nomination despite pleas from Democrats.It is truly a shame that ignorance, homophobia, and political partisanship got in the way of confirmation of the most qualified ambassador to serve in El Salvador in many years.