Monday, July 26, 2010

Mom of teen held in Cuba nearly broke — Young man was accepted into Sault College

Mom of teen held in Cuba nearly broke — Young man was accepted into
Sault College
Posted By QMI Agency

Time is running out fast for Danette LeCompte as she fights to get
her19-year-old son out of Cuba.

If the Canadian government doesn't act, and fast, to help bring Cody
home, the distraught mom says they'll be forced to live on the streets
of the communist country.

"We can't go on much longer, maybe a couple of weeks," Danette told the
Sun in a phone interview from her hotel room. "I've maxed out all of my
credit cards, I have nothing left."

She has borrowed well over $30,000 since learning her son wasn't allowed
to leave the country three months ago because of a car accident, a crash
Danette and Cody claim wasn't even their fault.

"My life may never be the same financially, Danette said, referring to
the credit card debt she has racked up since the end of April.

Cody, his mom and her cousin all suffered minor injuries in the accident
and were briefly hospitalized. Cody's hand is still quite banged up.

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The cousin's Cuban fiancee, who was also in the rental car when it was
broadsided by a truck, needed surgery to repair her liver. But she has
since recovered.

However, Cuban law dictates accidents be treated as a crime when a
tourist is driving and a local is seriously hurt. That means Cody is
guilty until he can prove otherwise.

While he hasn't been charged with anything, the Simcoe teen faces up to
three years in a Cuban prison.

They hope to have a court date set this week.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry has said it is doing what it can
behind the scenes, but it will not interfere with the judicial process
of another country.

Sun readers have expressed their support for the mother and son, as well
as outrage over the federal government's handling of the situation.

One Ottawa woman, who endured a similar experience, warns Cody and his
mom should prepare themselves for a lengthy stay in Cuba.

"I was detained for a full year until I proved I was innocent," Anne
Lepage said.

"There's no way we could do that financially," Danette said of the
thought of being stuck in Cuba for another nine months.

Cody had become withdrawn, but his spirits have been picked up thanks to
the overwhelming show of support he has received from Canadians across
the country."

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