On May 9, 2022,  HB 395 was signed into law.  This new law denounces Communism as a political system and announces that November 7 of every year to be declared as “Victims of Communism Day” to be observed throughout the state of Florida.

This law states that high school students enrolled in  classes on US Government must receive at least 45 minutes of instruction on “Victims of Communism Day” to include such topics as Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot and how victims suffered under these regimes.

In response to disturbing recent trends in our society, during early 2023, a group of concerned Manatee County citizens decided to raise awareness of Victims of Communism Day.  This group of citizens established a formal organization incorporated as the Victims of Communism – Manatee (VOCM).

Then, on April 17, 2024, at the Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami, Governor DeSantis signed a second bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1264-2024, called “An Act relating to the History of Communism….”  Beginning in the 2026-27 school year, Florida public school students in all grades will study the history of Communism, both inside the United States, and internationally, with a particular emphasis on Cuba and other Latin American countries. In addition to learning about the atrocities committed in foreign countries under Communist rule, Senate Bill 1264 also requires age-appropriate “[c]omparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, which conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.”

Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz noted that this legislation will make the state’s education on communism “much more comprehensive.”  The Senate Bill also requires an academic partnership between institutes at Florida International University and Miami Dade College to compare Communist and free market political and economic systems, among other topics, while networking with Latin American leaders to advance American democratic principles. 

National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide, Kyiv, Ukraine