Friday, July 23, 2010

Canadians rage at Cuba over trapped teen

TORONTO - Canadians from coast to coast have been voicing their outrage after learning of 19-year-old Cody LeCompte's plight in Cuba.
And they are even more dismayed to learn that after three months of detention in the communist country -- for a car accident that he claims wasn't his fault -- our government has been content to wait for justice to run its course rather than take swift action to help the young man get back home.
'Wept with anger'
"Today I wept with anger," one Sun reader wrote on a Facebook group dedicated to helping Cody after reading the story that appeared in Thursday's paper.

"I am appalled that our government is failing him," the reader added.
"We must unite and take action in bringing Cody home, immediately!" 
The Simcoe teen was on a two-week vacation with his mom that was supposed to be a reward for getting into college.
Instead his life has been turned upside down because of a bizarre law that forces tourists involved in accidents where a Cuban citizen is seriously hurt to prove his or her innocence before being allowed to leave the country.
Cody's mom, Danette, who is at her son's side because she's afraid to leave him alone in Santa Lucia, so far is $30,000 in debt after paying for lawyer's fees, a room at the resort and other expenses.
She is on the verge of financial ruin and Cody hasn't been charged with anything.
Danette was in the rental car, so was her cousin and his Cuban fiancee, and Cody was driving when they were allegedly "broadsided" by a truck April 29.
They were all hospitalized but have since recovered from their injuries, including the fiancee who underwent surgery for her damaged liver. Apparently, the only one still hurting is Cody.
He and his mom were unavailable Thursday because they were meeting with their lawyer.
"I have never been to Cuba and never will go!" Sun reader Steven Leech wrote on, adding the feds should "put a travel ban on Cuba and cut off all foreign aid" to the impoverished country.
Similar sentiments were echoed by callers from across Canada to Roy Green, on AM 640. The talk radio show host has been at the forefront of efforts to bring the teen home. But it appears the anger of Canadians has been heard.
"While at the African Union Summit in Uganda, Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, has met with senior Cuban officials and raised LeCompte's case directly," spokesman Dana Cryderman said.


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