Fact Check: Did Joe Biden Replace Bust of Winston Churchill With Hugo Chavez?

Joe Biden is wasting no time as America's new commander-in-chief.

He already has signed numerous executive orders and redecorated the Oval Office to reflect his presidential ideals.

His newest interior office additions include portraits and busts of prominent American leaders such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a moon rock on loan from NASA.

Photos from the White House reveal the changes made to former President Donald Trump's decor, including replacing an Andrew Jackson portrait with one of Benjamin Franklin.

andrew jackson has been replaced with ben franklin pic.twitter.com/nJaVzgnAqe

— Tim Dickinson (@7im) January 20, 2021

One of Biden's additions is garnering a lot of attention on social media.

As Biden sits at his Oval Office desk, a newly placed bust of Latino civil rights activist Cesar Chavez can be seen on display amid framed photos of Biden's family.

"The Chavez bust speaks to his priorities and an Oval Office that was ready on day one," White House spokesperson Angela D. Perez told Newsweek in an email.

After images of the bust appeared online, a few social media users wondered if it replaced a bust of a prominent British leader.

lmao pic.twitter.com/GJqhfrZ7fn

— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) January 21, 2021

The Claim

One of the many tweets received thousands of interactions. It included screenshots of tweets that claimed the Chavez bust replaced a bust of Winston Churchill. The tweets appeared to confuse Cesar Chavez with former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

One of the screenshots says, "Biden has already removed the bust of Churchill from the oval office, & replaced it with a bust of Venezuelan socialist leader Chavez. Dark times lay ahead."

A Cesar Chavez bust in the Oval Office 🇲🇽🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/E1bVOOWI6n

— Moreno (@Moreno) January 22, 2021

The Facts

It is a long-standing tradition for U.S. presidents to adjust the Oval Office's interior as an expression of their personality and goals.

Before Biden, the Oval Office was selectively styled by Trump, who had the bust of Churchill on display the past four years.

"It had originally been lent to George W. Bush by Britain and then was returned as Barack Obama took office. Biden does not have the bust on display," the Washington Post said.

While the bust of Churchill is gone, Biden selected busts of Chavez, King, Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt to display in his office, according to reports.

"There is only so much space for busts to go in the Oval [Office] as previously noted by Obama," Perez said.

The Chavez bust did not replace Churchill, but a statue of former President Andrew Jackson on horseback. The sculpture is quite noticeable because it sits directly behind Biden, occupying the same spot as Jackson did. The Churchill bust sat on a table off to one side of the room.

ICYMI: A reminder of our @NASAArtemis pledge to return to the Moon now sits in the Oval Office. Learn more about the lunar sample on loan to the @WhiteHouse: https://t.co/4mUhUR46qJ pic.twitter.com/1czY8HyaF9

— NASA (@NASA) January 21, 2021

The Chavez bust is on loan from the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Perez told Newsweek. It was requested by the Biden transition team and is crafted entirely from bronze, designed by artist Paul A. Suarez, according to the Cesar Chavez Foundation. It was made 25 years ago and before it was lent to the White House, it was on display in the visitor center of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, California.

"Placing a bust of my father in the Oval Office symbolizes the hopeful new day that is dawning for our nation," Paul F. Chavez, Chavez's middle son and president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, is quoted as saying on the foundation's website.

"That isn't just because it honors my dad, but more importantly because it represents faith and empowerment for an entire people on whose behalf he fought and sacrificed."

Chavez is remembered as an American icon who advocated for better working conditions for farm laborers receiving low pay and as an individual who fought for civil rights.

"Chavez and his United Farm Workers union battled California grape growers by holding nonviolent protests. Chavez got the idea for nonviolent actions from Martin Luther King Jr.," according to Americaslibrary.gov.

The Ruling


The bust of Cesar Chavez, not Hugo Chavez, did not replace the bust of Winston Churchill that Trump had on display as president. It replaced a statue of Andrew Jackson. The Churchill bust was removed but wasn't replaced by Chavez.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump listens during an event in the Oval Office of the White House August 28, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The button on his desk allegedly called for a butler to bring him a Diet Coke. Pool/Getty
False: The claim is demonstrably false. Primary source evidence proves the claim to be false.
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