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Florida Takes Aim at Marxism-Leninism as DeSantis Signs Victims of Communism Day Bill

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: May 10, 2022
Florida will designate Nov. 7 as Victims of Communism Day
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at The Rosen Shingle Creek on Feb. 24, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. DeSantis signed HB395 into law on May 9, which declares November 7 Victims of Communism Day and takes aim at Marxist-Leninist thinking. (Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Government of Florida has openly taken an opposing stance toward communism and the Marxist-Leninist doctrines underwriting the political power scheme as Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new bill into law on May 9. 

Governor DeSantis announced on Twitter that November 7 would become Victims of Communism Day in Florida, stating the purpose was to “honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million.”


“In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism,” the Governor added. 

The Bill, formally known as HB395, was filed in the House of Representatives on Oct. 21, 2021 and reviewed by a litany of committees before being introduced for a formal reading on Feb. 17 of this year.

Not voters

HB395 took to a vote on Feb. 24, where it passed 115-0, with the following four Representatives marked as “Not Voting”:

  • Anthony Rodriguez (R-118th District)
  • Brett Hage (R-33rd District)
  • Lauren Melo (R-80th District)
  • Dana Trabulsy (R-84th District)

The bill was then referred to the Florida Senate for a vote on March 2, where it passed 38-0.

The lone “Not Voting” Senator was Linda Stewart, a Democrat.

Rejecting Marxist-Leninism

The bill is terse at only 3 pages long, yet utilizes its WHEREAS chain to slam the communism movement’s Marxist-Leninist foundation as it states, “Over 100 years have passed since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the formation of the first communist government under Vladimir Lenin, leading to decades of oppression and violence under communist regimes throughout the world.”

And adds, “Based on the economic philosophies of Karl Marx, communism has proven incompatible with the ideals of liberty, prosperity, and dignity of human life and has given rise to such infamous totalitarian dictators as Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.”

HB395 also made a marked effort to note, “Communist regimes worldwide have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless others to exploitation and unspeakable atrocities, with victims representing many different ethnicities, creeds, and backgrounds.”

Legislators voted on, and approved, verbiage that stated, “Through false promises of equality and liberation or through coercion, brutality, and fear, communist regimes have systematically robbed their own citizens of the rights of freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and freedom of association.”


The act requires Victims of Communism Day to be observed by all public schools and observed in public exercise at the State Capitol.


Additionally, starting in the 2023-2024 school year, the act states that high school students will be required to attend at least 45 minutes of instruction on Nov. 7 where the following specific topics are to be covered:

  • Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution
  • Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System
  • Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution
  • Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution
  • Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge
  • Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement

Specifically, the text requires students to receive education on “how victims suffered under these regimes through poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech.”

USA Today affiliate Tallahassee Democrat quoted DeSantis as stating, “We want to make sure that every year folks in Florida, but particularly our students, will learn about the evils of communism.” 

“The dictators that have led communist regimes and the hundreds of millions of individuals who suffered and continue to suffer under the weight of this discredited ideology,” the Governor added.