Republicans Block Maria del Carmen Aponte as Ambassador to El Salvador

 Last year, I wrote about how excited I was about the appointment of Maria Del Carmen Aponte as Ambassador to El Salvador. For the past year, she has served as interim Ambassador since Republicans blocked her nomination and President Obama had to by passed the block by appointing her during the recess. UGH. Frustrating. Voices of El Salvadorhas the scoop.

Today, Republicans in the Senate blocked her nomination, largely led by Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C)because he feels Aponte is leading a “gay agenda” in El Salvador based on an op-ed she wrote on June 28 in La Presna Grafica – a Salvadoran based newspaper. In the op-ed Aponte praises El Salvador’s equal rights movement and better treatment of the gay population.

Gay agenda? Last time I checked, that was also known as advocating for human rights.

Here he is (video):

According to Roll Call: “Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also opposes the nomination — and those of Roberta Jacobson to be assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs and Adam Namm to be ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador — over a disagreement with the Obama administration’s policies regarding Cuba and Nicaragua.”

I don’t understand how Republicans plan on targeting Latino voters with this kind of nonsense.

In addition, Democrats couldn’t rally the 60 votes needed to move past the filibuster. Is there a reason they couldn’t rally the votes? What’s going on here?!

Here’s a note from the White House and Julie Rodriguez, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement:

Dear Friends,

This evening we were very disappointed to see a partisan vote in the United States Senate blocking Mari Carmen Aponte’s nomination to continue serving as our Ambassador to El Salvador. Please see the statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney below:

Office of the Press Secretary

December 12, 2011
Today a partisan group of Republicans in the Senate blocked our Ambassador to El Salvador from returning to her job, choosing instead to play politics with America’s national interests.

Ambassador Aponte has served our nation with distinction over the past year, accumulating an impressive list of accomplishments that included negotiating a Partnership for Growth between the United States and El Salvador that is critical to our economic and national security interests in the region. Ambassador Aponte’s leadership on behalf of the United States has earned her the respect of all sides in El Salvador, and the trust of leaders in the United States from across the political spectrum and diverse communities.

Today’s filibuster is one more example of the type of political posturing and partisanship the American people are tired of seeing in Washington. Now is not the time for playing politics, it’s time for Congress to do the right thing for the American people. Whether it’s allowing up or down votes on our representatives to the Western Hemisphere, allowing consumers to have someone looking out for their interests, or extending and expanding the payroll tax cut for the middle class, Republicans in Congress need to stop thinking about the next election and start putting the best interests of the American people first.



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