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Gov. DeSantis signs bill that strengthens standards when teaching about "evils of communism"

MIAMI - On Wednesday, the 63rd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a measure into law which he said will strengthen Florida's education standards by requiring teaching on the dangers and evils of Communism.

For the signing, DeSantis was joined by state Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. at a Hialeah Gardens museum which honors the efforts of the 2506 Assault Brigade during the invasion.

"Today is April 17. It is a sacred day. It is a day that reaches into the deepest part of our hearts," said Rafael Montalvo, the president of the Bay of Pigs Invasion Veterans Association.

Governor DeSantis said the state is committed to fighting communism.

"We had a lot of brave men suit up and fight communism and fight tyranny and so today we are here, fighting tyranny and fighting communism. It's a little bit different venue and through legislation we are committed to telling the truth about this ideology," he said.

Sixty-three years ago, 1,500 Cuban exiles tried to launch an invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba to stop Fidel Castro's reign. The effort failed but that history now will be a part of the comprehensive curriculum in Florida schools.

DeSantis was surrounded by some of the surviving members of Brigade 2506 when he signed the legislation.

Starting in the 2026 school year, education on the history of communism will be expanded in the state.

"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," said DeSantis.

"It is vitally important that every student learns about the dangers of communism," said Diaz. "I know firsthand the evils that Communism brings, and I am proud to stand by Governor DeSantis as he signs this legislation to ensure Florida remains the bastion of freedom."

The law will also create the Institute for Freedom in the Americas at Miami- Dade College which will promote the importance of economic and individual freedoms to advance human progress, specifically in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It enables the "Florida Department of State, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Education, to recommend to the Legislature the creation of a Florida-based museum on the history of Communism," according to the governor's office.

The new law also authorized the Department of Education to seek guidance about the curriculum from anyone who was a victim of communism. 

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