Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Almost a dozen U.S. ambassadors to Latin America and the Caribbean are still not in place

Almost two years after President Joe Biden stepped into office, nearly a dozen ambassadors to key countries in the Western Hemisphere are still not in place, with eight nominees having their confirmation hearings put on hold by a Republican senator — all during a pivotal time in the region. Ambassadorial nominees to Nicaragua, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, El Salvador and the Organization of American States have been nominated but their confirmations are being held up by Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. Biden recently nominated an ambassador to Ecuador and has yet to nominate ambassadors to the Dominican Republic, as well as Colombia — the strongest ally of the United States in the region which recently elected its first leftist president. Chile’s ambassador was recently confirmed after the position was vacant for close to four years. (https://news.yahoo.com/almost-dozen-u-ambassadors-latin-130525067.html) Finding candidates has become more difficult over the years because both the vetting and the confirmation processes have become more complex, and could become tedious and frustrating for the nominees. With Biden’s nominations to the region, partisan politics in Congress and what some have described as the administration foot-dragging have also complicated the confirmation process, even while they were still in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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