Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

There are millions of fluent Spanish speakers in the U.S. The nominee for the ambassador to Chile is not one of them.

The United States is home to more fluent Spanish speakers than Spain, but the Trump administration's nominee for the ambassador to Chile apparently doesn't know much beyond como se dice, Bloomberg Politics reports. Businessman Andrew Gellert, the president of the food-importing Gellert Global Group, is a longtime friend of Jared Kushner's father and has a shared interest in the family's troubled tower at 666 Fifth Ave. Yet aside from exporting nuts and dried fruits from Chile, Gellert's nomination is a bit of a head-scratcher: "He has no diplomatic experience and speaks only basic Spanish," Bloomberg Politics writes.

Ambassadorships are often rewarded to campaign donors and other members of the president's personal social circle, and many do not fluently speak the language of the country they represent, though they win points when they do. Gellert's nomination is particularly striking, though, because of the low visibility of Latinos in the Trump administration. The president's Cabinet has been criticized for being the first without any Latinos since 1989.

Separately, the Trump administration recently granted mining leases in a Minnesota wilderness area to a Chilean billionaire, Andrónico Luksic, a move that had previously been blocked by the Obama administration. Luksic is notably the owner of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's $15,000-a-month rental home in Washington, D.C., The Wall Street Journal reports.