Friday, May 24, 2024

First Puerto Rican Woman to be a US Ambassador Sworn In

Maria del Carmen Aponte became the first Puerto Rican woman to serve as a US Ambassador when she was sworn in the position yesterday.  Aponte, who will serve in the Republic of El Salvador, was nominated by President Obama to fill the post in December of last year.

As previously reported in La Plaza, her confirmation had been held up in the Senate by Republican Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who kept the Foreign Relations Committee from moving her nomination forward. She also became the target of right-wing bloggers.

During the August Congressional recess, Obama used his executive power to bypass the Senate and appoint Aponte directly.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), who is the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to the US Congress, joined the new ambassador, her mother and sister on stage at the State Department ceremony.  Administering her oath was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is also Puerto Rican, and who earlier this year became the first Latina confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In moving remarks, Aponte thanked her family and acknowledged her many friends and supporters who were present.   Referencing Sotomayor, Aponte also gave credit to Obama for making it possible for the two women to be standing there in their respective roles.


  1. Ms. Carmen Maria Aponte is NOT the first Puerto Rican, at least 5 Puerto Ricans have served including the first one, Teodoro Mosco was named by JFK in 1961 ambassador to Venezuela. It’s a shame Sen. Rubio blocked her nomination.