Friday, July 23, 2010

Outrage grows over teen's plight in Cuba

Outrage grows over teen's plight in Cuba
Last Updated: July 22, 2010 10:11pm

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.

"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 out 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 within 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 a crash 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 even been charged
with anything.

Danette was in the rental car, so was her cousin and his Cuban fiance,
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 fiance 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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