No More Odebrechts

Friday, March 9, 2012
For years, foreign companies like Brazil's Odebrecht have been partnering with the Cuban dictatorship, while simultaneously profiting from Florida's taxpayers -- many of whom are victims of that dictatorship.

That has come to an end.

The Florida legislature has just passed legislation (see details below) that prohibits the state, its counties, cities and other public entities from contracting with foreign companies that conduct business with the Castro and/or Assad tyrannies. The law also requires the state's pension funds to divest from these companies.

(U.S. companies and their subsidiaries have long been prohibited from doing business with the Castro regime under federal law. This state law closes a loophole used by foreign companies that have been transacting business with both Cuba and Florida through the use different subsidiaries, e.g. Odebrecht).

Sadly, public entities like Miami-Dade County and Florida International University had been unwilling to take a moral stand against some of these foreign companies, so the Florida legislature has stepped up to do so.

Kudos to Majority Leader Carlos Lopez Cantera, Senator Rene Garcia and Representative Michael Bileca for their extraordinary leadership in this effort.

CS/HB 959 and CS/SB 1144 - State and Local Government Relations with Cuba or Syria

State and Local Government Relations with Cuba or Syria: Prohibiting the State Board of Administration from being a fiduciary with respect to voting on any proxy resolution advocating expanded United States trade with Cuba or Syria; prohibiting a state agency or local governmental entity from contracting for goods and services of more than a certain amount with a company that has business operations in Cuba or Syria; requiring certification upon submission of a bid or proposal for a contract, or before a company enters into or renews a contract, with an agency or governmental entity that the company is not engaged in business operations in Cuba or Syria, etc.