Florida Appeals Injunction Against Cuba, Syria Law

By: Governor's Press Office; Troy Kinsey; The News Service of Florida
By: Governor's Press Office; Troy Kinsey; The News Service of Florida

The News Service of Florida - July 25, 2012 -

The Florida Department of Transportation on Tuesday took the first step in an appealing an injunction against a new law that would prevent state and local governments from contracting with companies that have business links to Cuba and Syria. Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement to announce the appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. "As I have said before, the Castro and Assad governments are undeniably repressive, and it is important that Florida taxpayers do not support dictators that suppress freedom,'' the Scott statement said. "I firmly believe this law is right for Florida and will continue to defend it going forward." U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore last month blocked the law, saying it likely violates the federal constitution. The law, which was challenged by Odebrecht Construction, Inc., would prevent companies from receiving government contracts of $1 million or more if they do business in Cuba or Syria or are affiliated with firms that do business there. Odebrecht, a Coral Gables-based firm that does major transportation and construction projects, is a subsidiary of the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht S.A. Another subsidiary of the firm is involved in the expansion of the Cuban port of Mariel, according to the lawsuit. Odebrecht argues that the law is unconstitutional because it intrudes on the federal government's powers to set foreign policy.

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MIAMI – May 1, 2012 -

Governor Rick Scott signed legislation today intended to prevent taxpayer dollars from ending up in the hands of companies with business ties to the dictatorships of Cuba or Syria. House Bill 959 lays the groundwork to prevent state and local governments from entering contracts worth $1 million or more with businesses operating in Cuba and Syria.

“The records of the Castro and Assad governments are undeniably oppressive, and have worked in ways that are counter to American interests,” Governor Scott said. “The legislation I’m signing today is designed to protect Florida taxpayers from unintentionally supporting dictators that suppress freedom and the rights of individuals, but we must have a federal partner that will permit this law to become operative.”

This legislation demonstrates Florida’s commitment to spreading political and economic freedom in Cuba and Syria and builds on previous legislation that prohibits state and local government contracts with companies doing business in Sudan and Iran. The bill also ensures that the State Board of Administration will not have the opportunity to vote on a proxy resolution that would call for expanded United States trade with Cuba or Syria.

“The Cuban and Syrian regimes are no better than the Iranian and Sudanese regimes, and the federal government should consistently permit the states to impose the same sanctions on each of these dictatorships,” said Governor Scott. “I call on President Obama to introduce federal legislation that would permit Florida to enforce this important law.”

For the full text of Governor Scott’s signing letter, please visit here.


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  • by TallyVoter Location: Tallahassee on May 2, 2012 at 05:01 AM
    Hey Scott! The cold war ended 20 years ago!
  • by Falling Down Laughing Location: Up In Here on May 2, 2012 at 04:19 AM
    What a joke, what a Bahahaha, way funny considering that industry in North Florida does 80 million plus per year trade with Iran. Too funny sounds like somebody wants to kill competition oh I mean capitalism rofl, vote those lawmakers haha clowns out and the governor will stop signing "Bozo Laws" and I'll stop laughing.
  • by Anonymous on May 2, 2012 at 02:52 AM
    what a political fool is he.
  • by Redd Foxx on May 1, 2012 at 04:36 PM
    President Scott? That's my joke for the night. HAHAHAHAHA!
  • by Anonymous on May 1, 2012 at 01:21 PM
    I see Scott left a loophole here - this is just to prevent state and local government departments from doing business with these 'anticapitalist' nations, it does not say it restricts individuals or corporations (SCOTUS says they are individuals too) from making deals that benefit their profits and don`t care what happens to the people [just like conservatives do here].
    • reply
      by Tally on May 1, 2012 at 05:36 PM in reply to
      Individuals and corporations do not use tax dollars in most cases. This bill was to prevent the use of TAX DOLLARS from going to these nations. What individuals and corporations choose to do is their own business.
  • by Paul on May 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM
    China? Nicaragua? Others? Why just these 4? Vietnam? Socialist countries like France, Germany, England, Spain, Greece, Italy? Should they be included? I still think we should send the corporations to take over Cuba, one trade deal at a time.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 1, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to Paul
      Agree, what did Cuba do to get hated so much?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 1, 2012 at 03:23 PM in reply to
        Cuba tossed out its oligarchs, beginning January 1, 1959. They relocated to Miami. Since then, both political parties have pandered to the exiles in Miami. Far more terror has been directed toward Cuba by exiles in Miami than toward the US by Cuba. Over the last 50 years, most US terrorists have been Cuban exiles. It is politically expedient for the US to call Cuba a state sponsor of terror, but it is not true. The US is routinely condemned by the UN for its treatment of Cuba.
        • reply
          by Bolillo on May 2, 2012 at 04:17 AM in reply to
          If not for that "treatment" Cuba would have taken Puerto Rica by force 50 years ago. It ain't all bad.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on May 2, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to
          @Bolillo It's called Puerto Rico on most maps. Good post. Cuba would also have taken the US Virgin Islands, Key West, Key Largo, and Homestead. You just can't be too vigilant about the Red Menace.
      • reply
        by SNA on May 1, 2012 at 04:18 PM in reply to
        Read a book, or at least Google it.
      • reply
        by Random Government employee on May 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM in reply to
        Ever heard of the Cuban Missle crisis. All of it started when Cuba allowed the Soviet Union use them as a base for nuclear weapons that could be launched and hit the US in minutes. I know the 1960s feels like ancient history to some so ask your grandparents about it.
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