A bill that proposes public school students learn about the suffering inflicted by communism received unanimous approval from the Senate Wednesday
The legislation (CS/HB 395) will next head to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis to await his signature. Sen. Manny Diaz introduced the Senate version (SB 268) but switched to the “identical” House version Wednesday.
If the Governor approves, he and succeeding Governors would declare Nov. 7 “Victims of Communism Day.” That is the anniversary of when Vladimir Lenin stormed the Russian capital to overthrow the government, thus igniting a worldwide movement.
In explaining the bill, Diaz said it would “honor the more than 100 million victims of communist regimes across the world.”
Also, the bill calls for revising social studies standards. Starting in the 2023-24 school year, high school students in American government class would receive at least 45 minutes of instruction on the suffering that has occurred as a result of communism.
Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Russia’s Lenin and Joseph Stalin, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Cambodia’s Pol Pot and China’s Mao Zedong are the figures mentioned in the legislation that aims to ensure students learn, “how victims suffered under these regimes through suppression of speech, poverty, starvation, migration and systemic lethal violence.”
Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami-Dade, who fled Colombia as a child, rose to support the legislation and thanked Diaz for introducing the measure.
“Any victim of communism knows very much that we need to learn from the experiences of the victims (of communism) and we should teach it and we should celebrate the fact that we talk about it, that we are willing to teach our kids about it.”
Some of the testimony in House committee stops referenced that some polls show that attitudes about capitalism and socialism have begun shifting. It shows more young people are viewing socialism in a positive light.