• The Star Staff

Governor appoints new State secretary

By Pedro Correa Henry

Twitter: @PCorreaHenry

Special to The Star

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced appointed Raúl Márquez Hernández as Puerto Rico’s secretary of State on Monday.

After summoning the press via email for an “important message” to be delivered at La Fortaleza at 5 p.m., Vázquez said that after having conversations with government officials, mayors, and other leaders, she determined to designate Márquez Hernández for the seat that was left vacant after former State Secretary Elmer Román resigned to take a position in the U.S. Pentagon.

“His professional experience in municipalities, the Legislature, the executive branch and the private sector is part of the attributes of this young lawyer. I am grateful for the commitment and availability of Márquez to accept this [appointment], give continuity to setting goals, and assume the State Department’s direction,” Vázquez said. “I not only thank the attorney for taking on this task, but also for taking it on during the most difficult moments that our people have gone through and [when they especially need to] have honest and uncompromised officials still dedicated to serving the country.”

The designated State secretary thanked God as “not anything would be possible without Him,” and that he will continue in his commitment to helping the citizens of Puerto Rico. He said that even if there are just a little “more than 100 days left for the current government, there is work yet to be done.”

“Amid an unprecedented event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest priority for the Department of State is and will be the health and well being of all Puerto Ricans, particularly the elderly and people who have chronic or sensitive diseases,” Márquez said. “In the midst of this challenge brought by the pandemic, we will move our economy forward and will clear the way for the projects begun by this administration that had to pause after the lockdown.”

Earlier in the day, Vázquez announced via La Fortaleza’s Facebook page that the State Insurance Fund Corp. transferred $9 million to the island Department of Education to provide evaluations and therapies for some 100,000 special education students in the public school system.