‘Ellis Island of the South’ may undergo $25M restoration


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that he will ask the legislature for $25 million to renovate the Freedom Tower, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Miami. The building built in 1925 to house the now defunct Miami News was used as the Cuban Assistance Center to assist Cuban migrants fleeing the Castro regime during the Cold War era. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

MIAMI (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing a $25 million investment to repair Miami’s Freedom Tower.

The aging building is also known as the “Ellis Island of the South” because it housed the Cuban Assistance Center where refugees received government help after leaving the communist island following the 1959 revolution.

The announcement came on the day of a planned opposition protest march Monday in Cuba. DeSantis called out the Biden administration to step up its support for activists in Cuba.

The Republican governor said the tower needs urgent structural repairs, but the money also will be used to redesign the exhibits to welcome more visitors.

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