Aponte Returns to Her Post as Ambassador to El Salvador
In June, after 6 months of not having an ambassador, the US Senate confirmed Mari Carmen Aponte as Ambassador to El Salvador. She was originally nominated in 2009 but after waiting 8 months for a vote on her nomination President Obama appointed Aponte in August 2010 during a recess appointment which did not require approval by the US Senate. In December 2011, as her recess appointment was set to expire, the Senate tried to vote to approve as Ambassador, however, Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-NC), blocked her confirmation. Their reasoning was a relationship she had in the 90s with a possible Cuban spy and an op-ed that she wrote in the Salvadoran media supporting President Funes’ decision to sign a decree prohibiting all forms of discrimination by the government based on sexual orientation or identity.
While LGBT news outlets in the US are celebrating the confirmation of a ‘pro-gay’ ambassador, CISPES and our allies remain clear that Ambassador Aponte will be representing the interests and agenda of the US State Department, which continues to pursue an agenda of export and foreign investment-led “development,” through such projects as the Partnership for Growth and the Millennium Challenge Fund, and rising military control over public security.