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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Travel Agency Fights|Florida Over Cuba Trips

TAMPA (CN) - A travel agency says Florida sued it illegally to punish it for helping people visit their families in Cuba. Agencia 12 Y 23 says regulation of international travel is a federal responsibility.

In its federal complaint, Agencia says it arranges travel to Cuba for authorized people, which may include people who want to visit family, who provide humanitarian aid, and journalists, educators, artists, ministers, and nonprofit organizations.

Agencia says it is monitored by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson served a complaint against Agencia in September, calling it an unlicensed travel agent, and fining it for failing to register with the state under Florida's Travel Act.

Agencia says the commissioner violated the U.S. Constitution's the Supremacy Clause and the Foreign Commerce Clause. Power over foreign affairs is not shared by the states, and Florida's Travel Act is pre-empted by federal laws and regulations that regulate travel to Cuba.

Agencia wants Florida enjoined from interfering with its business and enjoined from enforcing the Florida Sellers of Travel Act.

Its lead counsel is Vincent Lynch with Robbins Equitas of St. Petersburg.

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