Governor DeSantis Announces $25 Million Budget Proposal for the Freedom Tower
Funding will be used to complete urgent repairs on the historic monument where Cuban Americans first arrived after fleeing Communism during the Cold War
MIAMI – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a $25 million investment for Miami-Dade College to preserve, refurbish and enhance the Freedom Tower. The proposal will be considered during the upcoming legislative session, and will be included in Governor DeSantis’ legislative budget recommendation. For nearly 100 years, the tower has been a symbol of freedom and democracy, becoming an integral part of the Miami skyline. From 1962 to 1974, the Freedom Tower became one of the most recognizable historic buildings in Florida as the place where Cuban refugees would be taken for assistance after fleeing the communist regime and landing in Florida.
Governor DeSantis made this announcement while people on the island of Cuba continue to fight against the totalitarian communist regime. Over the weekend, Cuban Americans in Miami rallied in support of the Cuban people while the oppressive Cuban dictatorship continues to crack down on and intimidate protestors on the island.
“I am proud to announce that in my upcoming legislative budget recommendations, we will be proposing a $25 million investment in the Freedom Tower to preserve this monument for future generations,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “After the Communist Regime took over in Cuba, hundreds of thousands of people fled and came to Florida to have a chance at freedom – now it is our responsibility to carry on that legacy. We will continue to make sure the Freedom Tower remains one of the premier symbols of freedom and liberty in our nation. This investment is even more important today, when as a nation we have the opportunity to join the cause of the people who are fighting for freedom on the island of Cuba. While Florida continues to stand for democracy on the island, so far, we have seen almost no support whatsoever from the Biden Administration. As we propose more funding for the Freedom Tower today, I once again call on President Biden to step up to the plate and help the people of Cuba who are risking their lives to fight the dictatorship.”
“It truly is an honor to join Governor DeSantis as we propose $25 million to restore the Freedom Tower – an iconic building that is the embodiment of the American Dream,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Many Americans who call Florida home are united in preserving history. Let us join the rallying cries of the freedom seeking people of Cuba demanding their God-given rights. Governor DeSantis and I will always stand on the side of libertad.”
The $25 million in funding will be used to
- Complete urgent structural repairs;
- Conserve and restore historical architectural components;
- Make the building more accessible for people with disabilities;
- Install museum-quality climate control and security systems to safeguard the Cuban American history stored there; and
- Reimagine and redesign the exhibits displaying that history to make it more engaging for all ages.
The Freedom Tower has nearly 3,000 pieces of art and artifacts on display across 30,000 square feet of museum-quality space and a total of 87,000 square feet. While the building has been restored and maintained by the previous owners and Miami Dade College, this infusion of capital through the Deferred Building Maintenance Program will allow the College to quicken its time horizon for repairs.
The video of the press conference is available here, courtesy of the Governor’s Press Office.