President Duque of Colombia makes historic visit to South Miami

South Miami Commissioner Josh Liebman (L) and Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez following the ceremony officially launching a Sister City Program with Medellin, Colombia.

The City of South Miami Commission hosted Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez at the designation of a “Colombia Sculpture Garden” Sept. 27, commemorating the launch of a new Sister City Program between South Miami and the City of Medellin, Colombia. The historic event took place at Dante Fascell Park, 8700 SW 57th Ave., in South Miami.

Following official welcome greetings by South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard and Commissioner Josh Liebman, who sponsored the effort, President Duque was presented with a plaque and made official remarks underscoring the importance of trade and culture between the two cities.

Also presenting at the event were Colombia Consulate General Pedro Agustin and Dr. Santiago Medina, sculptor and South Miami’s Colombia Sculpture Garden, who provided background on the historic project at Dante Fascell Park

This is the first-ever Sister City agreement for the City of South Miami in its 90+ year history, and only the 2nd Sister City designation in the U.S. for Medellin. Additionally, it was the first time that a president, either foreign or domestic, has ever scheduled visit to South Miami.

As the only area in all of Miami-Dade County designated to Colombia to date, the City of South Miami has received three separate sculptures from Colombian artists for installation, with three additional pieces currently being considered. Medellin was recently ranked as the world’s “Most Innovative City” by The Wall Street Journal. Colombia is the number one ally of the United States in South and Central America.

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