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Gov. DeSantis honors Cuban immigrants, signs legislation at Freedom Tower

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami's Freedom Tower, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Miami....
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami's Freedom Tower, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Miami. DeSantis approved two bills, one establishing November 7 as "Victims of Communism Day" and another bill to rename roads across the state for notable Cubans. The governor also announced that he will approve $25 million to renovate and restore the Freedom Tower. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)(Marta Lavandier | AP)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:32 PM EDT
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MIAMI, Fla. (WCTV) - Gov. Ron DeSantis honored immigrants who fled to the U.S. to start a new life in search of opportunities as he signed the legislation to observe “Victims of Communism Day” at the Freedom Tower in Miami. At the press conference, he made direct reference to immigrants of Cuban heritage who value freedom and fled communism but also mentioned immigrants from Venezuela and Nicaragua as those who are oppressed by communist regimes.

“Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” said Gov. DeSantis.

Through House Bill 395, the governor proclaimed Nov. 7 “Victims of Communism Day,” and it will be observed in public schools across Florida.

“Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for your continued leadership and to the Legislature for providing this critical funding for Miami’s Freedom Tower and designating November 7th as Victims of Communism Day,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “House Bill 395 educates this generation of children and future generations about the ideology, history, and horrors of communism so that freedom will always remain alive in the Sunshine State.”

The bill requires high school students enrolled in the United States Government class to receive at least 45 minutes of instruction on “Victims of Communism Day.”

“I stand here today to speak on behalf of the 120,000 students of Miami-Dade College, 75% of whom are Hispanic, and many whose parents and grandparents fled communism to give them the opportunity to come here,” said Madeline Pumariega, President, Miami Dade College.

In addition to that legislation, Gov. DeSantis signed a separate bill renaming roads across the state to honor Cubans who fought against the Castro regime.

“Next July will mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of my father at the hands of the Cuban regime,” said Rosa María Payá, Cuban Human Rights Activist. “As thousands of Cubans have done before and as we talk today, at least 1,000 Cubans are suffering political imprisonment for peacefully marching demanding freedom. It is time to stop this process, this factory of victims of communism. I appreciate this initiative and the fact that we are honoring the victims of communism by teaching young people about the evils of communism and the moral obligation we have to stop it.”

As part of his support for the Freedom Tower, DeSantis allocated $25 million towards the renovation and restoration of the historical building in downtown Miami. The Freedom Tower is home to the Miami-Dade College Museum of Art and Design, which houses the Cuban Legacy Gallery and the Exile Experience that honors the legacy of Cuban Americans.

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