Mari Carmen Aponte, ia a Washington lawyer and Hispanic activist, who ahs been serving as U.S. Ambassador in San Salvador since Obama, in response to Republican opposition to her nomination, made her a recess appointee in September 2010 afte.
Aponte’s temporary appointment is about to run out and once again the GOP lawmakers are up in arms resisting a Senate confirmation because of old, unfounded rumors that her boyfriend was a Cuban spy and new GOP “christian conservative” outrage over a summertime opinion piece that Aponte wrote on gay rights. in La Prensa Grafica, a daily newspaper in El Salvador, in response to a State Department cable to ambassadors worldwide urging them to recognize gay pride month.
Thirteen years ago, during the Clinton administration. Reports about Aponte surfaced (vis Jesse helms) 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 FBI cleared her. Amd on two occasions, Aponte has received top-secret security clearances.
But whats really upsetting the GOP is the Op-Ed that Aponte wrote on June 28, 2010 for La Prensa Grafica.
In the Spanish-language piece titled, “For the Elimination of Prejudices Wherever They Exist,” 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.”
Even though El Salvador was among the than 80 nations that had signed a U.N. declaration for the elimination of violence against gays and lesbians and El Salvador President Mauricio Funes had signed a decree in May 2010 prohibiting discrimination by the government based on sexual orientation the GOP is using this to lead a crusade to block Apointe’s permanent apointment because several Salvadoran family and religious groups have complained that Aponte is “abusing her diplomatic status, showing a clear disdain concerning our values and cultural identity.”
Jim DeMint who is leading the crusade to block Aponte re-appointment is using the GOP and El Salvadores homophobia and the old speculation about her personal life now to wage a war against her. “Our relationship with the Salvadoran people has been one of trust and friendship for decades. We should not risk that by appointing an ambassador who shows such a blatant disregard for their culture and refuses to clear unsettled doubts about her previous relationships. It’s time to bring Ms. Aponte home.”