Mari Carmen Aponte Ambassador to El Salvador has caused quite a stir since Obama appointed her in August 2010. Republican Senators had strong reservations about Ms. Aponte’s past and her ability to represent America’s interest, reservations that since her appointment have proved valid.
Aponte was first nominated by President Bill Clinton as Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in 1998 but withdrew her name rather than answer questions about her 12 year relationship with a Cuban spy, Roberto Tamayo, targeted as part of an FBI Counterintelligence investigation. A high ranking Cuban defector claimed that Cuban intelligence has attempted to recruit her as a Cuban spy. Ms. Aponte has subsequently served on the boards of the National Council of La Raza and the Puerto Rico Legal Defense Fund, both of which serve radically liberal interest.
An Ambassador’s job is to promote America’s interest while, at the same time, respecting the culture of the country where they serve. Ms. Aponte chose to ignore her job description, choosing instead to promote Obama’s radical social agenda, which in most cases has made more enemies of nations than friends, especially in those countries as profoundly religious at El Salvador.
In June 2011, the month that Obama designated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender pride month, Aponte chose to write an article on “homophobia” in La Prensa Grafica to school the overwhelmingly Christian nation on the virtues of homosexuality. She lectured them about their need to embrace homosexuality implying that the country’s disapproval was somehow rooted in ignorance. She praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her remarks that “gay rights are human rights,” and went on to explain how gay pride month was celebrated in the U.S. where the gay rights movement “celebrates its identity throughout the country.”
Her article caused quite a stir and was rebuked throughout Latin America. A wide range of religious, community and family groups from El Salvador, Mexico and Honduras wrote a response to Aponte’s article saying that she was “in clear violation of the rules of diplomacy and international law” by trying to impose a “new vision of foreign and bizarre values completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as human rights.” While they agreed that violence against homosexuals should be repudiated, it didn’t mean they had to accept the legal union between same sex individuals. “Not accepting the legitimacy of sexual diversity does not mean we are violating any human rights.”
The coalition wrote to the U.S. Senate asking that they oppose Aponte’s nomination, calling her “an insult to their people and their values.” They also asked the Senate to remove her from her position “as soon as possible so that El Salvador may enjoy the benefits of having a better person as a government representative. . .”
It was assumed that Aponte would not be confirmed by the Senate. But, things are never as they seem. Senator Marc Rubio, in a “closed door” meeting with Obama agreed not only to support Aponte, but to lobby other Republicans to vote for her. When reporters asked Rubio how he could possibly vote with liberal Democrats on her confirmation his office responded: “We worked behind the scenes with the Administration and reached an agreement on another policy in Nicaragua so the Senator agreed to vote for cloture and find another six Republican votes for her to pass.”
Rubio did his job well. In addition to his selling his vote he managed to get RINOs Ayolte of NH, Brown of MA, Lindsay Graham of SC, Murkowski of AK, Collins of ME, Luger of IN, John McCain of AZ, and Olympia Snowe of ME, to vote with the Democrats to confirm Aponte’s appointment in spite of the pleas of the El Salvador coalition to block her appointment.
Rubio who has been named as a possible vice presidential candidate had been under pressure from Latino groups ever since he opposed Aponte’s confirmation last December.