Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
It’s unlikely anyone would have ever mistaken Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a lover, or even tolerant, of communism. On Monday, he made official a law that permanently affixes a negative connotation on that form of government.
In Miami, DeSantis signed into law H.B. 395, the primary element of which is a declaration that Nov. 7 in Florida will now be known as “Victims of Communism Day.”
While the primary victims in South Florida are those who fled the oppressive and brutal regime of Fidel Castro in the 20th Century, DeSantis was critical of communism on a universal scale.
“Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” DeSantis said. “Through HB 395 and the funding announced today, we are guaranteeing that the history of those who fled communist regimes and their experiences are preserved and not forgotten by our students. While it’s fashionable in some circles to whitewash the history of communism, Florida will stand for truth and remain as a beachhead for freedom.”
Also found in the new law is $25 million that will be used to renovate and preserve Miami’s Freedom Tower, a nearly 100-year-old building which the federal government once used to process and care for Cuban people as they arrived in the thousands following the Cuban Revolution.
The tower, which is now used as an art museum by Miami Dade College, was added to the National Registry of historic Places in 1979.
“I stand here today to speak on behalf of the 120,000 students of Miami-Dade College, 75% of whom are Hispanic, and many whose parents and grandparents fled communism to give them the opportunity to come here,” Miami Dade College president Madeline Pumariega said. “Your investment here ensures that there will be someone standing here in the next hundred years, ensuring that the story of my parents, of our parents and our grandparents is told over and over again. We will continue to preserve the legacy of those that we know and those that we do not know.”
But the new law isn’t just a renovation project and rubber-stamped holiday. Schools will be required, starting in the 2023-24 school year, to set aside “at least 45 minutes of instruction” on Nov. 7 in order to address “topics related to communist regimes and how victims suffered at the hands of these regimes.”
Sadly, the communist approach to governances has, in world history, never resulted in anything other than despotism, so there will likely be no shortage of source material.
“Next July will mark the tenth anniversary of the killing of my father at the hands of the Cuban regime,” Rosa María Payá, Cuban Human Rights Activist, said. “As thousands of Cubans have done before and as we talk today, at least 1,000 Cubans are suffering political imprisonment for peacefully marching demanding freedom. It is time to stop this process, this factory of victims of communism. I appreciate this initiative and the fact that we are honoring the victims of communism by teaching young people about the evils of communism and the moral obligation we have to stop it.”