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US ambassador leaves El Salvador after Senate vote

December 30, 2011
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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador—U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte is saying her goodbyes in El Salvador after Senate Republicans refused to ratify her in the post.

Aponte has drawn fire for an editorial she wrote in a Salvadoran newspaper advocating acceptance of gays and lesbians, and long-standing rumors of past involvement with a man once believed linked to Cuban intelligence agencies.

She has been serving under a recess appointment by President Barack Obama since September 2010.

Deputy Chief of Mission Sean Murphy will be in charge of the embassy.

Aponte told a news conference Friday she was "proud of the work we have done here."

Aponte is expected to leave El Salvador Saturday, the day her recess appointment runs out.

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