Hispanic Lawmakers Blast Fla. Chamber For Opposing Cuba-Syria Ban

Oct 26, 2012

State Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah)
Credit Florida Senate

Lawmakers in the Florida Hispanic Caucus are blasting the Florida Chamber of Commerce for opposing a law that prohibits the state from doing business with oppressive regimes. As Jessica Palombo reports, the Florida Chamber voiced its opposition in a brief it filed in a lawsuit seeking to block the law.

The law prohibits Florida from doing business with countries like Cuba and Syria. On Monday, the Chamber filed a brief, saying the law would possibly harm the state’s economy.

State Sen. Rene Garcia, of Hialeah, who sponsored the law in the Senate, sent a letter to Florida Chamber Chairman Anthony Connelly. Garcia, says, the law was meant to support people fighting oppressive regimes.

“And now the Chamber of Commerce is going to take a position and say, ‘Oh, wait a minute. We do want you to prop up those regimes. We do want you to continue doing business with those countries.'? And for what reason? It’s for the almighty dollar," Garcia said.

The law went into effect on July 1. A company doing business in Florida and Cuba then sued to block it within weeks. Enforcement of the law is suspended pending the outcome of that suit.