Archive for Salvador
The Senate confirmed Mari Carmen Aponte as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador in a simple voice vote that hid the intense two-year controversy over her nomination. The diplomatic dispute involved Cuban spies, gay rights, partisan anger, ethnic politics and a potential Republican vice-presidential candidate who switched votes to endorse her. Sen. Marco Rubio helped secure nine Republican colleagues in favor of Miss Aponte when the Senate voted 62-37 Thursday to cut off debate on her nomination. That was two more votes than the Democrats needed to prevent a Republican filibuster. The Senate then approved her on a voice vote. Miss Aponte is a Puerto Rican-born D.C. lawyer and Democratic Party activist. Miss Aponte has been a controversial nominee since President Bill Clinton first tried to name her as an ambassador in 1998. Immediately stories emerged about her romantic relations with a Cuban-American businessman who had close ties to Cuban diplomats in Washington. The FBI cleared her of any links to spying for the Cubans, but she withdrew her nomination as ambassador to the Dominican Republic before senators had a chance question her in a confirmation hearing. Mr.. Obama ran into the same suspicions in 2009 when he first nominated her to serve as ambassador to El Salvador. Faced with possible Senate rejection, Mr.. Obama appointed her ambassador for a temporary term during a congressional recess the next year. However, Miss Aponte compounded the dispute about her qualifications by promoting gay rights in an article for an El Salvador newspaper that ran in June 2011 after Mr.. Obama declared “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.”
El Salvador’s foreign minister says Central American nations should share some embassies to reduce costs. He suggests they share embassy offices in India, Russia, Australia and Scandinavia. Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez says the purpose is to cut the cost of posting diplomats and allow them to have representation in more nations. Martinez said that he pitched the idea to other Central American foreign ministers during this week’s meeting of the Organization of American States in El Salvador.
The El Salvadoran consul general in in Los Angeles has asked Charlie Sheen to apologize for what he says were disrespectful comments about the Central American nation. Walter Duran made the remarks at a news conference held in response to Sheen, who said earlier this week that he’d rather move to El Salvador and sell shoes than battle his estranged wife in court for custody of their twin sons. Duran also asked Sheen to consider opening a shoe factory, saying it is an opportune time since El Salvador recently began giving away shoes to needy students. Sheen’s 23-month-old sons with estranged wife Brooke Mueller were removed from his home last week.
The wife of a Mexican diplomat working with the nation’s embassy in El Salvador was shot dead here in an attack that left her husband wounded. Guillermo and Claudia Medina were driving down a busy street here when assailants on a motorcycle opened fire on their car, media reports said. Witnesses said they heard four-to-six shots. Police said they had no information on the motive for the attack. Guillermo Medina, who holds the rank of first secretary at the Mexican Embassy here, was wounded in February during an attempted robbery.