New Florida law against trading with Cuba a total failure, says Miami newspaper

A new law signed by Florida governor Rick Scott, which prohibits doing business with or having commercial relations with Cuba and Syria was described on Wednesday by Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald as a fiasco”, a “failure” and as something “unworkable”.

Scott signed the new law on Tuesday, but on Wednesday he declared in a communique that the measure was left in suspense, since it could violate US federal legislation, given that measures related to foreign trade are considered to be within the exclusive ambit of federal laws.

“Since this conflict could exist, restrictions will not come into effect unless and until the Congress approves it and President Obama signs a law allowing states to impose this type of sanctions independently,” Scott said.

On its front page, the Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald described the law as “a total failure” and in its online edition posed the question: “Do you think that President Obama and the Congress will approve the Rick Scott law about Cuba?” Almost 80% of participants answered “No” (698 persons), while 21% (148 voters) said “Yes”, the French AFP news agency reported.

Firms from Brazil and Canada, Florida’s main trading partners, have expressed opposition to the legislation, and the state’s Chamber of Commerce itself described it as unconstitutional, the Tampa Bay Times newspaper reported.

In the meantime, Cuban-American political activists have launched a fierce attack against Scott for freezing the legislation, among them Republican US representatives David Rivera, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lethinen, joined by former congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

Ros-Lethinen, president of the Commission of Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives, also objected to the governor’s communique, arguing that the Bill became law when it was signed and will not be changed by a declaration.