Skip to main content

In yet another disappointing vote for the Latino community, the U.S. Senate voted 49–37 to block the nomination of President Obama’s nominee, Mari Carmen Aponte, to serve as ambassador to El Salvador. Leading the charge against Aponte were Senate Republicans who expressed concern over her alleged ties to a Cuban spy and her support for LGBT rights. Aponte was already serving as our nation’s ambassador to El Salvador, but senators voted on her reappointment as President Obama appointed her during a Congressional recess. Sen. Harry Reid (D–Nev.) said Aponte may get another vote before the end of the year, but that seems unlikely given the ambitious amount of work Congress wants to get through.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R–S.C.), Aponte’s chief critic, said the Puerto Rican diplomat had a shady past that made her unfit to serve as ambassador.

From the AP:

Thirteen years ago, when Clinton nominated Aponte, reports surfaced that a former live-in boyfriend, Roberto Tamayo, had ties to Cuban intelligence in Fidel Castro’s regime and that Cuban intelligence agents had tried to recruit her. The head of the Foreign Relations Committee at the time, Sen. Jesse Helms (R–N.C.) signaled he would question Aponte about the allegations at her confirmation hearing; she withdrew her nomination.

In the end, the FBI cleared her. On two occasions, Aponte has received top-secret security clearances.

DeMint also cited a Spanish language op-ed Aponte authored in June, which expressed support for LGBT rights. The South Carolina legislator claimed that the article showed that she was out of touch with the Salvadoran people, who are 57 percentCatholic. The piece, titled, “For the Elimination of Prejudices Wherever They Exist,” was in response to State Department directives to diplomats around the world to acknowledge and support gay pride month. In the op-ed, Aponte wrote:

"No one should be subjected to aggression because of who he is or who he loves. Homophobia and brutal hostility are often based on lack of understanding about what it truly means to be gay or transgender. To avoid negative perceptions, we must work together with education and support for those facing those who promote hatred."

NCLR is very disappointed that that a majority of senators chose to prevent this talented Latina from continuing to serve her country in favor of scoring political points against the president. It is especially deplorable that senators chose to use her support for equality as reason for blocking her nomination. The Senate missed a prime opportunity to show its support for the Latino community last night and voters will remember this next November.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site