Brazil’s Odebrecht sues Florida over Cuba, Syria law

Tue Jun 5, 2012 2:10pm EDT

MIAMI (Reuters) – The U.S. auxiliary of Brazilian construction hulk Odebrecht has filed a lawsuit severe a recently sealed Florida law exclusive internal governments from employing companies that do business in Cuba or Syria.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Miami sovereign court, claims a magnitude is “unconstitutional and unenforceable” and argues that a sovereign government, not states, has a management to order laws involving unfamiliar affairs.

Signed by Governor Rick Scott final month, a law drew clever subsidy in a state’s Republican-led legislature, quite from Cuban-American politicians in Miami, who argued Florida taxation dollars should not be used to support dictatorships.

But Scott after came underneath complicated critique after acknowledging a law would expected need sovereign approval, and he vowed to urge it opposite any authorised challenges.

Set to go into outcome on Jul 1, a law prohibits state and internal governments from awarding contracts of $1 million or some-more to any association that conducts business in Cuba or Syria. Both countries are designated by a United States as state sponsors of terrorism.

The law seemed to aim Odebrecht USA, a South Florida-based auxiliary of a Brazilian conglomerate, that has another auxiliary concerned in a vital ascent to Cuba’s Port of Mariel nearby a capital, Havana.

Lane Wright, a Scott spokesman, declined to comment, observant a governor’s bureau had not seen a duplicate of a lawsuit. Thomas Neal McAliley, a counsel representing Odebrecht, did not immediately respond to a ask for comment.

Odebrecht argues in a lawsuit that sovereign regulations “provide a sovereign Executive Branch with poignant coherence per a doing and focus of sanctions destined during Cuba, though do not sanction states to make their possess sanctions.”

The U.S. auxiliary also claims that it is “remote and apart from, and has no hit with, a corporate entity concerned in a enlargement of a Cuban Port of Mariel or any business operations in Cuba of any kind.”

Odebrecht USA provides construction and engineering services, focusing mostly on open infrastructure and travel projects.

The association has been awarded 35 contracts with Florida state agencies and internal governments given 1990 value $3.9 billion, it pronounced in a lawsuit. Among them was a plan for a behaving humanities core in Miami.

It is now behest on a due $700 million hotel and bureau formidable compared with a Miami airport.

(Additional stating by Michael Peltier in Tallahassee; modifying by M.D. Golan)