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Odebrecht sues Florida over Cuba crackdown law

The Coral Gables-based subsidiary of Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate, sued the state Monday over a contentious new Florida law that bans governments from hiring companies with business ties to Cuba.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami federal court, contends that the law is unenforceable and unconstitutional because it sets foreign policy — a power that the courts have ruled belongs solely to the federal government.

The law would prohibit state and local government agencies from awarding contracts worth at least $1 million to Odebrecht Construction Inc. — among others — because a subsidiary of its parent company is upgrading the Cuban Port of Mariel.

Gov. Rick Scott caused an uproar last month when he signed the law in a ceremony at Miami’s Freedom Tower, only to issue a statement shortly afterward suggesting the law was unconstitutional. The governor later retreated from that stance, saying he backed the law and that his administration would defend it against a likely legal challenge.

A Scott spokesman declined to comment Monday because the governor’s office had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.

Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, one of two Miami-Dade Republicans to sponsor the legislation, which received near-unanimous support from state lawmakers, said the court should uphold the law.

“This is not about foreign policy,” he said after learning about the lawsuit from a Miami Herald reporter. “I see it as a states’ rights issue. We have a right to decide who we want to do business with.”

In its lawsuit, however, Odebrecht argues that federal laws “do not authorize states to enforce their own sanctions against Cuba.” More here.

Comments

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joe blow

DICK Scott gets SUED AGAIN! This is like the 100th lawsuit filed against Darth Vader in two years.
All the drooling, teabag idiots at the Villages and Crazy Cubans in Little Havanna must be elated!

whasup

joe blow should be proud ...

Now that some huge international construction conglomerate has sued the Governor, he should recognize that all the silly lawsuits brought against Scott are the result of powerful interests (like joe's union buddies) who prefer to seek through the courts, what policies that they can't achieve through the choices that our elected representatives won't make. It is clear now that joe's union buddies who have repeatedly sued to protect their own interests (i.e., claims on the taxpayers' money) are no better (or worse) than large corporate interests like Odebrecht.

Daniel

Good. Stupid and unconstitutional law. Typical South Florida politics.

Et tu, Brute?

If Odebrecht does not have any business with Cuba, why sue? Mr. Cantero and his client Oderbrecht will loose this case because it does not stop them from doing business in Florida as a private firm. It only stops them from doing business with Tax payer funded agencies. Why would we want these types of multinational companies taking business away from our own U.S.A companies anyway.

The client is from Brazil but Mr. Cantero is a product of this Cuban exile. Unfortunately, he has chosen money instead of Cuban Freedom cause, no moral fortitude.

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