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Equal Rights

Remarks of Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer at José Martí statue dedication in Havana

(Photo: Jon Alpert)

Good morning, honored guests.

Let us make this the beginning of renewed and strengthened friendship between two great cities and their people.

At home in the United States we say, “we shall overcome.” Here you say, “venceremos.” I say, welcome home, José Martí!

I am Gale Brewer, President of the Borough of Manhattan, where the original of this dramatic statue of José Martí has been inspiring New Yorkers for most of a century. I see it at least once every day, and the building where José Martí worked for 15 years is just a couple of blocks from my office. I can see it from my window.

The inscription on the Manhattan, New York statue recognizes José Martí as “the apostle of Cuban independence…leader of the peoples of America…and defender of human dignity,” values that speak to his heroism and also to the restored ties between our countries.

The 1.6 million residents of Manhattan and the 2.1 million residents of Havana now have the presence of José Martí. And we share this magnificent and symbolic work of art created by another resident of Manhattan – Anna Hyatt Huntington – one of the pioneering woman artists of the United States.

Categories: Equal Rights