Julissa Reynoso sworn in as new US ambassador to Spain

US SPANISH

Washington, Dec. 6 (EFE).- The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, sworn in this Thursday to Dominican lawyer Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón as Washington’s new ambassador to Spain and Andorra, after her nomination was confirmed by the Senate on December 18.

The ceremony, which took place at the Vice President’s ceremonial office, was unexpectedly attended by the first lady, Jill Biden.

Reynoso, who was the United States ambassador to Paraguay during Barack Obama’s presidency, serves as chief of staff in the first lady’s office as well as co-chair of the White House Gender Policy Council.

Mother, sister and son Reynoso, who was born 47 years ago in the Dominican city of Salcedo, also attended the swearing-in ceremony. The mother of the new ambassador, Rosario Pantaleón, was responsible for holding the Bible in which Reynoso was appointed.

Reynoso, who immigrated to the United States in 1982 and has studied at the universities of Cambridge (United Kingdom) in addition to the American universities of Harvard and Columbia, also served as deputy secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State.

As a lawyer, Reynoso has been a partner at the firm Winston & Stran, which is dedicated to international law. In addition, he worked for Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Reynoso’s candidacy as ambassador to Spain and Andorra was not without controversy.

Initially, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, of Cuban origin, blocked his candidacy in November, seeing him “as a sympathizer and defender of the Castro regime.”

Rubio said Reynoso was involved in assisting “the exchange of imprisoned members of the Cuban regime’s intelligence services while they were serving time in US prisons” during the disbursement policies under Barack Obama and Raúl Castro.

During his candidacy process, Reynoso described Spain’s foreign policy as “mediocre” vis–vis Latin American countries to which Washington was at odds, such as Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua and insisted that Madrid “could have done more.”

Reynoso later confirmed that as ambassador to Madrid he would have “a goal” that Spain be “much more vocal” with respect to these countries, “given its significant influence and importance, especially in Cuba.”

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