TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis today signed a proclamation declaring November 7 as Florida’s first annual Victims of Communism Day. Florida is home to millions of people who came here to liberate themselves from countries controlled by communist governments, including Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. To honor the memory and sacrifices of those who suffered under these despotic regimes, the Legislature passed and Governor DeSantis signed HB 395 to establish an annual day in which students in Florida schools will learn about the atrocities committed by the communist regimes and the more than 100 million people. who were persecuted and lost their lives in communist countries. Read the full proclamation, https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/victims-of-communism-PROC.pdf.
“At a time when Marxism, socialism and communism are being actively promoted by prominent politicians and pop culture figures in our own country, it is more important than ever to teach school children in Florida about the horrific history of communist countries and to provide them with opportunities to hear from people who suffered under the rule of communist dictators”, said Governor Ron DeSantis. “That’s why I created Victims of Communism Day and started an initiative to record video testimonies of Floridians who suffered under these regimes. When we understand the horrors of the past wrought by this evil ideology, we are inspired to defend our nation’s republican government, its free enterprise economy, its vibrant religious traditions, and its civil society against the forces that seek its destruction.
“As the daughter of Cuban exiles, I know firsthand the devastating impact communism has had on the Cuban people,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “In Florida, we will not allow this dangerous ideology of communism to seep into our society, and we will continue to educate our children about the atrocities committed by communist dictators. I am proud that our administration stands and always defends freedom and opposes those who want to take it away from us.
“As a Cuban-American, my family is just one of many people who have suffered the evils of communism. Some of the devastating effects of communist regimes include stealing from citizens’ homes, murdering and imprisoning their loved ones and the deprivation of their freedoms”, said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. “It is imperative that every student in Florida learn about the atrocities committed in the name of communism so that they never belong here in America. Thank you Governor Ron DeSantis for honoring the victims because of this hateful ideology.
Throughout his tenure, Governor DeSantis honored those who fought and continue to fight against the predators of communism, including Cuban-American hero Felix Rodriguez, to whom he presented the first-ever Governor’s Medal for freedom. Governor DeSantis also allocated historic levels of funding to the Bay of Pigs Museum and the Freedom Tower, a symbol of Florida’s history of staunch anti-communism. Governor DeSantis also pushed back against the evil influence of Communist China.
According to the text of HB 395, today all public high school students in U.S. government classrooms will receive instruction on “subjects such as Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet system, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement, and how victims suffered under these regimes through poverty, starvation, migration, systemic deadly violence and suppression of speech. History and social studies teachers at other grade levels are also encouraged to incorporate these themes into their lesson plans.
Victims of Communism Day is an opportunity for students of all ages and Floridians of all backgrounds to learn about the dangers posed by socialism around the world and here at home, as well as reflect on the blessings of the freedom granted to ourselves and our posterity as a result of American traditions of limited government and individual liberty.