Senate Republicans stall Obama’s ambassador pick over Cuba concerns

[In December we brought Ms. Aponte to our readers’ attention thanks to Newsmax.com]

Mari Carmen Aponte, who was nominated by Obama in December for ambassador to El Salvador, withdrew her nomination to another diplomatic post in the Clinton era following questions about her past relationship with someone who had apparently caught the attention of the FBI.

FoxNews.com
3/13/2010

Senate Republicans have slammed the brakes on the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to El Salvador over concerns about her ties to Cuba.

Mari Carmen Aponte, who was nominated by Obama in December, withdrew her nomination to another diplomatic post in the Clinton era following questions about her past relationship with someone who had apparently caught the attention of the FBI.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., forced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to delay a hearing scheduled this week on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte until next Wednesday.

“Serious concerns about this nominee arose when she was nominated for a different position during the Clinton administration,” DeMint said in a written statement to FoxNews.com. “I have asked the committee for additional time to review these matters. So far we have not received all of the information we have requested.”

In 1998, President Clinton’s nomination of Aponte for ambassador to the Dominican Republic fizzled after the foreign relations panel questioned her over her past relationship to Roberto Tamayo, who had raised concern at the FBI over “possible ties to the Cuban government” and “repeated trips there,” one former official with knowledge of that nomination told FoxNews.com.

Aponte came under scrutiny by the committee after revelations that she attended a party at the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York City, the former official said.

According to reports at the time, a former Cuban intelligence agent also told a Spanish-language newspaper in Miami in 1993 that Cuban intelligence was trying to recruit her through her boyfriend…

…Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. forced the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to delay a hearing scheduled this week on the nomination of Mari Carmen Aponte until next Wednesday…

The article continues at FoxNews.com

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