Florida officials have yet to decide if they will appeal a federal judge’s decision that now blocks the state from punishing companies that do business with Castro’s Cuba.
Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that his office has yet to review Monday’s decision by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore that granted an injunction against Florida’s new anti-Cuba contract law which Coral Gables-based Odebrecht USA claims violates federal law.
“I haven’t seen it yet, but we’ll look at that,” Scott told reporters in responding to a question about Moore’s ruling.
Scott went to the Freedom Tower in Miami to sign the legislation on May 1 that was designed to punish companies that do business with Cuba or Syria.
Both nations are on the U.S. State Department list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”
Scott drew heat when he signed the law because he initially stated that the law would first require federal approval. He later amended his comment to say the state would fight any legal challenge.
The legislation, which was set to become law July 1, prohibits Florida and governments in the Sunshine State from contracting or maintaining contracts of $1 million or more with companies that are also dealing with the governments in Cuba and Syria.
The bill was strongly sponsored by South Florida Republicans and only a single legislator -- Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami -- voted against the proposal.
A prime target of the bill was apparently Odebrecht USA, an affiliate of the Brazilian company Odebrecht. Last year, Odebrecht USA won a highly publicized $57 million contract to strengthen cargo wharves in the Port of Miami. Meanwhile, another branch of the company performs work at Cuba’s Port of Mariel.
Odebrecht claimed in court that only the federal government sets foreign policy.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.