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The United States nominates Jean Elizabeth Manes as ambassador to Colombia – USA – International

President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated jean elizabeth manes as the new ambassador of the United States to Colombia.

Manes, a career diplomat, will now have to go through the confirmation process before the Senate, a body that by law must give its approval to all ambassadors proposed by the administration.

(In context: What is known about who sounds like the new US ambassador to Colombia)

His next step will be before the Foreign Relations Commission and then before the plenary session of the Upper House.

The speed of the process will depend largely on the legislative agenda in Congress and the number of officials who are still in “queue” to receive confirmation from the Senate.

(See also: Why does the United States still not have an ambassador in Colombia?)

Analysts predict that, at least, it will take about three months before you receive the green light to travel to the country.

That, as long as no obstacles arise in your confirmation process. Given the system in which the Senate operates, a single legislator could block or freeze his appointment.

Born in Florida, Manes currently serves as the Deputy Civilian Foreign Policy Advisor for Southern Command.. Prior to that, she was sent as ambassador to El Salvador between 2016 and 2019.

In 2021, Manes was sent by Biden again to El Salvador as Chargé d’Affaires. But her performance during that last period in San Salvador ended up being highly controversial. Since her arrival in that country, she has been involved in bitter public disputes with the government of Nayib Bukele.

Although relations were already strained and the US openly questioned the anti-democratic decisions made by the Salvadoran president, the ambassador took it to a new level with permanent and highly critical exchanges through social networks.

In November of that year, just six months after his arrival, he resigned after indicating that the government of El Salvador was not interested in having a relationship with the United States.

The name of Manes as a possible ambassador of Washington to Bogotá began to sound since the beginning of last year.

However, the process “froze” after I high officials and former officials of the State Department objected to his appointment because they considered that it was not appropriate for Colombia.

First, because of the combative spirit that he showed in El Salvador and, second, because of his affinity with the hardest wing of the Republican party.

Although Manes is a career civil servant, both her high school and university studies were done in centers closely associated with this party and the country’s evangelical movement.

Liberty University, for example, where he studied International Relations, is considered the cradle of this religious current. and hotbed of figures in the Republican right

A profile that disturbed many. Especially when it became known that Gustavo Petro, a leftist leader, would be the new president of Colombia.

In its statement, the White House, however, highlights the virtues of Manes and his career in foreign policy.

“She served nationally in the US Department of State as Senior Deputy Coordinator for the Office of International Information Programs and as Director of Resources for the Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Affairs. Her overseas assignments include Public Affairs Officer in Afghanistan; Principal Officer in the Azores, Portugal; and assignments in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Syria,” the text reads.

It also underlines that Manes received a ‘Distinguished Presidential Rank Award’, five recognitions for her work abroad, named diplomat of the year on one occasion and received the Roth award for excellence in cultural and educational diplomacy.

In addition, has a master’s degree in Public Administration from American University and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

“On behalf of the Government of Colombia, we welcome President Biden’s nomination of Jean Manes to become the next United States Ambassador to Colombia. Given the importance of our bilateral relationship and as we await the process to follow in the Senate, We welcome the nomination to fill this vital position and further strengthen ties between Colombia and the United States,” said Ambassador Luis Gilberto Murillo upon learning of his appointment.

Manes will replace Philip Goldberg in the positionwho was nominated in February last year as the new ambassador to South Korea.

Goldberg left the country on June 1 and since then the US has not had an ambassador in Colombia, something unprecedented in the relationship between the two countries.

SERGIO GOMEZ MASERI
EL TIEMPO correspondent
Washington
On Twitter @sergom68

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