Florida takes Cuba business ban appeal to US federal court
MIAMI — Florida has appealed in a Miami federal court last month’s ruling blocking the entry into force of a state law prohibiting state agencies from awarding contracts to companies doing business with Cuba and Syria.
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the appeal of the June 26 ruling by US District Judge K. Michael Moore, related to business interests of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
Odebrecht, which is engaged in a major port construction project in Mariel, Cuba, filed suit against the state of Florida earlier this month after the legislature overwhelmingly passed the measure.
The law, which was to go into effect July 1, would prohibit state and local government agencies from awarding contracts worth a million dollars or more to companies that have commercial ties in Cuba and Syria.
Republican governor Scott said “the (Cuban) Castro and (Syrian) Assad governments are undeniably repressive, and it is important that Florida taxpayers do not support dictators that suppress freedom. I firmly believe this law is right for Florida and will continue to defend it going forward.”