US Ambassador blocked.
Mari Carmen Aponte will no longer be the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, reports Reuters (Dec. 13, 2011). Her nomination was blocked by the U.S. Senate--11 votes short of the 60 she needed. Aponte had served as the ambassador of El Salvador since President Obama appointed her in 2010. She is a Washington, D.C.-based Puerto Rico-born attorney. The Aponte vote was the "third time in a week that Senate Republicans have used a filibuster to block a presidential appointment. In question, were Aponte's ties to Cuba and whether Cuban intelligence officials tried to recruit her as a spy in the 1990s. Democrats said the FBI cleared her of any wrongdoing. Aponte also wrote an op-ed piece on gay rights in a Salvadoran newspaper. It disavowed violence and hatred against individuals based on their sexual orientation, urging education and understanding," said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois,