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Florida appeals Miami federal judge ruling against law prohibiting hiring of companies tied to Cuba

The state of Florida is appealing a Miami federal judge's decision to strike down a law prohibiting governments from hiring companies with business ties to Cuba.

Last month, U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore blocked the law from taking effect on July 1, as scheduled. Odebrecht USA, the Coral Gables-based affiliate of the giant Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate, had sued the Florida Department of Transportation, saying it's not the state's role to set foreign policy. The law also applies to companies linked to Syria.

In a statement, Gov. Rick Scott said FDOT filed the appeal Tuesday afternoon. 

"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," Scott said. "I firmly believe this law is right for Florida and will continue to defend it going forward."