Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canada quizzes Cuba over detained teen

Canada quizzes Cuba over detained teen
By Chris DOUCETTE, Toronto Sun
Last Updated: July 27, 2010 9:57pm

After nearly a week of Canadians voicing their outrage and political
opponents blasting the federal government for its handling of Cody
LeCompte's Cuban detention, the prime minister has finally heard the
teen's cries for help.

The Simcoe teen's story, which has appeared in the Sun almost daily
since Thursday, has prompted others to step forward with their horror
stories, and the Harper government now recognizes there's a problem.

"We called in Cuban officials today and raised our concerns about
Canadians being detained without any charges," a senior official, who
asked not to be named, said Tuesday. "We also asked that these cases be
resolved expeditiously."

Peter Kent, minister of state for foreign affairs of the Americas, is to
release details of the meeting Wednesday.

"His case certainly brought to light other similar cases," the official

However, he maintained it was the plight of Canadians in general, not
just LeCompte's, that was discussed with the Cubans.

LeCompte, 19, went to the communist country for a two-week vacation in

He was T-boned by a truck while driving a rental car and under Cuban law
isn't allowed to leave until the matter is dealt with.

He has been detained now for more than three months and still doesn't
have a court date.

LeCompte's school year is likely lost and his mother, Danette, has been
financially devastated.

The single mom has borrowed more than $30,000 in an effort to get her
son home.

The meeting has given her hope.

"Finally some good news comes our way," she said from Cuba.

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