Mikhail Gorbachev has words of encouragement for Juárez

Rio Grande Digital

Juárez Mayor Hector "Teto" Murguia, left, presents a ceremonial key to the city Monday to Mikhail Gorbachev, who spoke at the ongoing Juárez business expo Juárez Competitiva. (Photo courtesy city of Juárez)

Noting similarities between Russia and Mexico, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev told a Juárez audience Monday that he is certain they will succeed in their struggle to reclaim the city from organized crime.

Gorbachev was among the speakers at Juárez Competitiva, a two-week expo aimed at highlighting positive points in the violence-torn city.

“Mexico and Russia have many similarities, not only political and historical, but also of feelings,” Gorbachev said, as quoted by the newspaper El Diario de Juarez.

Gorbachev was responsible for dismantling the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s, bringing an end to communist oppression and the long-running Cold War with the West. He is widely recognized as a strong influence and perpetuator of worldwide freedom. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

Profound changes in the socialist republic were painful, but ultimately worth the struggle, Gorbachev told his audience Monday at the Paso del Norte Convention Center in Juárez.

Mikhail Gorbachev

“The change caused a storm in our country and then opened a space for freedom,” he said, adding that it was only after much struggle that his people were able to overcome the economic and political crises.

“Success does not come by itself,” he said. “It is something that society has to look for. “

Attending the speech, Juárez Mayor Hector “Teto” Murguia called Gorbachev “a man who changed the world” and presented him with a ceremonial key to the city, according to a city news release.

Following the theme of the Juárez Competitiva expo, Murguia noted the strengths of Juárez,

Rudolph Giuliani

including its strategic geographic location and highly skilled workforce. But more importantly is that Juarenses are people of integrity, determination and great patriotism.

The expo continues next week with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaking at 2:30 p.m., also at the cultural center. Tickets were sold out for both the Gorbachev and Giuliani appearances, according to the Paso del Norte Cultural Center website.







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