"It is critical to the security of the United States that potential loyalty risks do not escape scrutiny by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when they are nominated, especially for high posts such as ambassador."—ALG President Bill Wilson
April 13th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to reject the nomination of Mari Del Carmen Aponte for the post of Ambassador to El Salvador.
The committee will be considering Aponte's nomination in a hearing at 2:15PM.
In Wilson's letter to the committee, he wrote, "Aponte's nomination is permanently tainted by her 1990's close, personal relationship with a man whom U.S. counterintelligence considered a Cuban DGI agent, according to a confidential intelligence memo that was obtained by Insight magazine."
The letter continues, "Aponte's failure to cooperate with a 1994 FBI investigation into the allegations, and her refusal to participate in a polygraph test after some of the answers to FBI questions showed minor inconsistencies serve as automatic disqualifiers for this nominee."
An Insight on the News story detailed Aponte's alleged recruitment by the Cuban spy agency, including receiving a loan which was never paid back that originated from Cuban sources. According to the a confidential intelligence memo delivered to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms and obtained by Insight, "When the FBI questioned her about her involvement with Cuban intelligence, she reportedly refused to cooperate, saying that since she was not seeking a permanent White House position she was not subject to a background check."
After she failed to take a lie detector test in 1994, Aponte withdrew herself from consideration of Ambassador to the Dominican Republic after committee questions about her suitability continued.
Yesterday Wilson had said Aponte is "unsuitable to represent the United States in El Salvador or anywhere else in the world. Aponte's subsequent resume also casts considerable questions about where her loyalties lie, and she should be rejected by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," said Wilson.
From 2001 to 2004, Aponte served as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. In this cabinet-level role, she represented the governor of Puerto Rico in the United States, where she, on at least one occasion, referred to Puerto Rico as a "country," and her office issued at least one press release calling her office in D.C. an "embassy."
In his letter Wilson stated, "While [Aponte's] allegiance toward an independent Puerto Rico is part of the legitimate political discussion on the island, this allegiance combined with her previous unresolved ties to the Cuban spy agency show that she cannot be trusted to serve the interests of the United States."
In a statement, Wilson concluded, "It is critical to the security of the United States that potential loyalty risks do not escape scrutiny by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when they are nominated, especially for high posts such as ambassador."
Letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 13th, 2010
"Aponte: A Loyalty Risk for Ambassador?", Richard McCarty for ALG News, March 8th, 2010
ALG Nominee Alert, Mari Del Carmen Aponte, March 2010.