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ACLU Challenges Ban on US School Book About Cuba

A U.S. rights group is fighting a local school board's decision to remove a children's book about Cuba from school libraries.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the school board of Miami-Dade County in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida. The school board voted last week to remove the book Vamos a Cuba and its English version, A Visit to Cuba, because they make no mention of the hardships of life under the communist regime of leader Fidel Castro.

A parent who described himself as a former political prisoner in Cuba complained about the book in April.

The ACLU argues removing the book violates students' rights to a free press and breaks a law against censorship.

The books are aimed at five- to seven-year-olds, and are part of a series on children's lives in other countries. Twenty-four other books in the series were also removed, although they had drawn no complaints. None of the books was required reading.

Southern Florida has a large Cuban exile population, which plays a strong role in local politics.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.