Maria del Carmen Aponte, New Ambassador to El Salvador

This article by Politico was worth re-posting.

I want to know more about her politics and plans to work with President Maurico Funes on helping the Salvadoran economy. There is a lot of work to do after the misery of the 1980’s cold war.

Obama uses recess appointment to send ambassador to El Salvador

Maria del Carmen Aponte, New Ambassador to El Salvador

President Obama filled four vacant posts today by recess appointment, among them Maria del Carmen Aponte to be his ambassador to El Salvador.

Aponte is an attorney, former board member of the National Council of La Raza and former president of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Her nomination to be Obama’s envoy to El Salvador has languished since December.

“At a time when our nation faces so many pressing challenges, I urge members of the Senate to stop playing politics with our highly qualified nominees, and fulfill their responsibilities of advice and consent,” Obama said in a statement announcing the rationale for the recess appointments. “Until they do, I reserve the right to act within my authority to do what is best for the American people.”

“He did the right thing by springing a superbly capable nominee for a critical post that had been left unfilled by shameless Cold War politics,” said the Center for Democracy in the Americas’ Sarah Stephens.

Washington Latin America hands say Aponte’s confirmation was held up by Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) over a past relationship with a Cuban American who had alleged contact with the Cuban interests section, although nothing shown to be illicit. “No big deal, but given the utter nuttiness about Cuba among some, she wasn’t getting confirmed,” one Latin America hand explained.

Aponte’s confirmation had been strongly championed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who praised Obama’s decision to move forward with the recess appointment today.

“Republicans in the Senate have deployed a strategy of broadly obstructing presidential appointments in order to grind the people’s business to a halt, and it was tremendously disappointing that they chose to delay Ms. Aponte’s confirmation as part of this strategy,” Menendez said in a statement. “Furthermore, it is shameful that they raised an issue from the distant past, which has been fully answered, to tar Ms. Aponte.

“If anyone in this chamber would have concerns about a nominee’s ties to and views on Cuba, it would be me,” Menendez continued. “On the contrary, I wholeheartedly endorsed her nomination, and I look forward to her work as ambassador.”

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