Odebrecht Has No Respect for Cuban-Americans

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Yesterday, the W Hotel in South Beach removed a painting of Che Guevara from its lobby.

The hotel did so after widespread complaints from Cuban-Americans who rightfully see the Argentine revolutionary as a symbol of violence and murder.

We did it as a matter of respect and sensitivity toward the local community. We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused,” the W's manager told The Miami Herald.

Kudos to the W Hotel.

Yet, ironically, on the very same day, Miami Airport Director Jose Abreu announced that he wants to hand over a concession of nearly 50 acres of the public's most valuable land for 50 years to Brazil's Odebrecht.

Odebrecht is currently the Cuban military's largest and most important business partner.

This company is at the heart of the Castro regime's economic survival strategy and is currently building -- at the behest of the Cuban military -- the largest  industrial port in the Caribbean at Mariel, Cuba.

This is the same Cuban military that is currently responsible for the beatings, torture and imprisonment of innocent Cubans -- in the same manner as Che decades ago.

Has Odebrecht expressed any remorse for its dealings with such tyrants?

To the contrary, it has doubled down and -- at the behest of the Cuban military again -- is now looking to also revitalize the sugar industry for the Castro brothers.

Odebrecht obviously has no respect or sensitivity for the victims of the Castro dictatorship.

As if this were not enough, for "good government" advocates, the terms of this deal are more akin to something cooked up in Havana, rather than what the people of Miami-Dade deserve.

It has been put together with no public input, shifting terms, no open bidding process and therefore -- no transparency.

That's why the Miami Airport's Director revealed this project yesterday and wants it approved by the Miami-Dade County Commission quickly -- for the less scrutiny, the better for them.

Odebrecht also wants it quickly approved because pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta is the temporary injunction issued by a local judge against the nearly unanimous will of the Florida legislature to prohibit public contracting with brutal regimes, such as Cuba and Syria.

This provision was backed by over 62% of Miami-Dade County voters in November.

But Odebrecht and its revolving-door partners at Miami Airport want to skirt the law before a final judgement.

So will the Miami-Dade Commission approve this non-transparent concession to Castro's most important business partner?

Or, since Odebrecht has no respect for the community, will the Commission exercise transparency and self-respect on behalf of its community?