Mexico Gifts Bust of National Hero to Miami Beach
The City of Miami Beach will unveil a bust of Mexican hero, revolutionary and former president Benito Juárez during a ceremony planned for Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. in collaboration with the Hispanic Affairs Committee.
The 2-foot bronze bust, which is being gifted to the city by Mexico’s government, through the Consulate General of Mexico in Miami, will be permanently displayed in Collins Park at 21 Street and Collins Avenue near the monuments for Simón Bolívar, who played a central role in the South American independence movement against Spanish rule and Cuban national hero and poet José Martí, whose writings on freedom and independence continue to inspire Cuban Americans and Latin Americans.
Benito Juárez led a liberal political and social revolution in Mexico during the 1800s. The Mexican statesman later defeated Maximilian of Austria who sought to rule the nation of Mexico. His legacy was the reform laws that gave rise to secular education, as well as freedom of religion.
“We accept this gift as a testament to the strong and cherished relationship we have with Mexico,” expressed Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “It serves as a reminder of the profound cultural, historical, and emotional connections that unite us.”
Juárez briefly lived in New Orleans from December of 1853 to June of 1855 when conservatives took control of Mexico.
Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez, who sponsored the unveiling, said the constitutional reforms Juárez pursued in his day laid the foundation for today’s democratic republic form of government in Mexico.
“Juárez demonstrated that freedom should never be taken for granted and must be defended at all costs,” Fernandez said. “I am particularly proud of the fact that his first elected position was on a municipal council.”
“It’s an honor to witness the presence of Mexico with the figure of Benito Juárez, a tireless fighter for equal rights for all people without distinction of origin, race or color, values that are intertwined right here in the emblematic city of Miami Beach, where we recognize the values of diversity, plurality and freedom of expression as Juárez mentioned in his immortal phrase ‘among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace,’ ” shared Consul General of Mexico in Miami, Jonathan Chait.
The Consulate General of Mexico in Miami expects a number of Mexican mayors to attend the unveiling on Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. The mayors will already be in the area to attend the World Travel Expo in Miami.