Propaganda sign on Pig of Bays Battle
Propaganda sign commemorating the Bay of Pigs Battle Wikimedia Commons/Steph32

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a new bill that requires that all elementary and secondary students receive lessons on the history of communism.

Speaking at a press conference at the Hialeah Gardens Museum and behind a podium that read "ANTI-COMMUNIST EDUCATION", DeSantis expressed the intentions that lead to the decision: "we're going to tell the truth about communism in the state of Florida, we're going to tell the truth about the evils of communism."

The law was signed in a significant context, coinciding with the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the U.S.'s-supported botched invasion of Cuban exiles of the island aimed at toppling the Fidel Castro regime.

The historical event that marked the Cuban exile community in the state, a fact that was definitely not lost on DeSantis: "we know that the Bay of Pigs was launched because the island of Cuba had succumbed to communist tyranny."

The measure enacted by Governor DeSantis aims to provide young people with an understanding of what he considers the "atrocities" committed under communist regimes and the perception of a growing threat from this ideology in the United States. Under the bill, the Florida Department of Education would "prepare and offer" standards for the "age appropriate and developmentally appropriate" instruction on the history of communism for all grade levels.

Ron DeSantis
Ron DeSantis Courtesy of AFP

The DeSantis administration has justified these measures with the argument that it is crucial for young people to understand the history and reality of communism to avoid repeating past mistakes.

The legislation not only focuses on the inclusion of this subject in the school environment but also foresees the creation of the Institute for Freedom in the Americas, located at Miami Dade College that is meant "to preserve the ideals of a free society and promote democracy in the Americas."

According to USA Today, the bill passed with bipartisan support, with only seven Democrats in the Florida House and Senate voting against. One of those opposed, Anna Eskamani of Orlando, said she doubted the measure would be properly carried out, pointing out the controversies that have surrounding state school book requirements and Black history standards.

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