Brazil’s Odebrecht, a business partner to despotic and murderous regimes all over the world including Cuba’s apartheid Castro regime, is threatening Miami-Dade County with a lawsuit for allegedly delaying the start of a construction project inexplicably and scandalously awarded to the unscrupulous international construction company.
Odebrecht pressures county on Airport City
The US subsidiary of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht is asking Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to push a proposed Airport City at Miami International Airport ahead, saying airport administrators have stymied the project that had been ticketed for Odebrecht “for no apparent justifiable reason.”
In a letter Monday, Odebrecht USA President and CEO Gilberto Neves told the mayor the firm has “worked tirelessly and in good faith” on the plan for six years but the Aviation Department, which manages the county-owned airport, has stalled the job.
Mr. Neves suggested Odebrecht may seek reimbursement of $11 million it has spent on planning, as well as damages, due to “the continually changing and oddly timed articulated reasons for not moving the project forward.”
Mr. Neves vaguely suggested officials may be distancing themselves from the Coral Gables-based firm for political reasons due to work an Odebrecht subsidiary did in Cuba. In 2012, Odebrecht America Latina expanded Mariel Port, 1980’s exit point for 125,000 fleeing Cubans.
His letter noted that last year a federal appeals court in Miami upheld a ruling that Florida’s anti-Cuba law was unconstitutional. The 2012 law banned agencies in Florida from awarding contracts of $1 million and up to firms dealing with Cuba or Syria.
Although the law would have affected dozens of companies, it was viewed as targeting Odebrecht, which sued to overturn it.
In February, Mr. Neves wrote, commissioners discussed the project and “confirmed publicly that there was much more to the issue of Airport City than simply finding the best real estate solution for the parcels.”
As of Tuesday, Odebrecht said the mayor’s office had not responded to its request to bring the project to commissioners with the Aviation Department’s support and approval. A spokeswoman said the mayor was not able to comment.
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