Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares responded Wednesday to CNN pundit Jim Acosta, who earlier in the day referred to the Commonwealth under Miyares and Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin as the “Soviet-style police state across the Potomac.”
Acosta, 50, spoke on Youngkin establishing a “Help Education” tipline for parents to report problematic school officials who make children or parents feel “their fundamental rights are being violated” — after the new administration enacted an executive order prohibiting mask mandates and stood against the indoctrination of critical race theory.
“You know, I seem to remember Glenn Youngkin campaigning in a fleece vest in Virginia. He was running as a different kind of Republican. I was told there was going to be a vest, not a Soviet-style police state across the Potomac from Washington,” Acosta said.
He told host Sean Hannity that a theme in his and Youngkin’s campaign was that “parents matter,” and that he knows personally what a Soviet-style police state looks like and does to innocent civilians.
“I think what Jim Acosta said — listen, my family fled Communist Cuba. You want to talk about what ‘Soviet-style’ looks like? It’s the opposite of freedom,” he said. “My mother has distinct memories of being forced to take classes in Marxist-Leninism.”
Miyares also disclosed that his uncle, Angel Miyares, had been arrested in the dark of night by now-deceased dictator Fidel Castro’s secret police and detained without due process — and that his parents later had their home “nationalized: in the name of fairness and equity.”
“So clearly, Jim Acosta maybe needs to take some history classes of what Soviet-style communism actually looks like. And [Virginia is] the opposite.”
Miyares’s parents fled the Castro regime in 1965, and the attorney general was born in Greensboro, N.C., a decade later. For his part, Acosta’s family also left Cuba in the 1960s and later settled in the Washington, D.C., area.
Miyares told Hannity that nothing about the new administration in Richmond reflects Soviet-style Communism:
“What we have said is parents matter. Listen, if you’re a parent and you want to mask your child for six, seven, eight hours a day, you absolutely have that right. That’s your individual decision,” he said. “The great irony of all this, is in Soviet-style communist states like Cuba, the state diminishes parents. They say, ‘Your loyalty is to the state,’ and parents have less control. This is about parental empowerment.”
Miyares concluded that if school boards want to ignore parents, his office will provide “as many avenues” as the parents need to retain their rights and their children’s.
“[W]e just want to know what’s going on. Give us the information if you’re concerned.”
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