HNBA Urges Bipartisan Support for Mari Carmen Aponte's Confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador

Jun 12, 2012, 15:53 ET from Hispanic National Bar Association

Despite outstanding achievements in temporary assignment, Aponte's confirmation has been stalled by partisan politicking

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following news that the Senate may once again bring up a vote tomorrow on confirming Mari Carmen Aponte as Ambassador to El Salvador, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) urges Senators to put aside political gamesmanship and approve Aponte.  In her one-year temporary assignment, Aponte made great strides in improving the economic, human rights, and security relationships between the United States and El Salvador.  However, partisanship in the Senate has prevented her from continuing her work. 

"In just one year, Mari Carmen Aponte achieved so much for U.S. - El Salvador relations and the Central American region," stated Benny Agosto, Jr., HNBA National President. "Should a vote finally come to the floor this week, we look to Republican Senators, led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, to join with Democratic Senators, who must all put politics aside and vote to confirm her as Ambassador to El Salvador. Aponte's work has brought great pride to the Hispanic community, and her success speaks for itself.  The role of the United States as a leader in the world and in our region must be the paramount concern of both parties in the Senate—not partisan game playing."

During her temporary, one-year assignment as ambassador, Mari Carmen Aponte amassed an impressive record of economic, security, and human rights accomplishments:

  • As El Salvador's fragile democracy continues to recover from the legacy of civil war, Ambassador Aponte had a unique ability to bring old foes together and soothe tensions, keeping the peace and democracy on track.
  • Ambassador Aponte negotiated an agreement between the U.S. and Salvadoran governments to form a comprehensive Partnership for Growth Joint Action Plan, which will promote economic growth and transparency in El Salvador.
  • Following a tense, two-month constitutional crisis, Ambassador Aponte invited Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to El Salvador to emphasize the need for dialogue, which helped break an impasse that threatened to paralyze the country.
  • Ambassador Aponte was a strong U.S. presence, promoting democracy and human rights, and challenging influences from the governments of Cuba and Venezuela.
  • Ambassador Aponte secured the deployment of Salvadoran troops to Afghanistan.  El Salvador is the first and only Latin American country to contribute troops to the U.S.-led NATO mission there.
  • Reaching out to private sector leaders, Ambassador Aponte helped find business opportunities for American and Salvadoran companies alike.

These accomplishments now stand as a marker of what true leadership in Central America can achieve. They are just the early examples of what Ambassador Aponte would ultimately accomplish in the region.  We urge the Senate to confirm this great American as Ambassador to El Salvador.

About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

SOURCE Hispanic National Bar Association