Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winnipegger stuck in Cuba after hitting a pedestrian

Winnipegger stuck in Cuba after hitting a pedestrian
CBC News Posted: Feb 26, 2014 5:29 PM CT Last Updated: Feb 26, 2014 8:09

He loves the place, but he can't get out of it fast enough.

Winnipegger Ted Barnett has been to Varadero, Cuba, three times and went
back again Jan. 11.

But a crash on a rented moped has put a dent in his return home.

Instead of a week-long stay, Barnett, 60, has been stuck in Cuba nearly
seven weeks, paying an ever-increasing hotel bill at the resort he booked.

Barnett hit a pedestrian while driving the vehicle. It broke the woman's
leg. He said it's rocked him to his core.

"I've never hurt anyone," he said. "I've never been in that type of a
situation. I just felt terrible."

Barnett said he's been told he won't face any charges, but the police
investigation has taken weeks to complete, and Barnett has been told he
is not allowed to go home.

"I'm being detained here, no doubt about it," he said. "Have I been
terrified about that? Yes."

Barnett told CBC his MTS international texting plan has been his
lifeline to the outside world. But he's desperate to return home.

"Has my mind been wandering? Oh, yeah," he said. "You think the worst
possible thing is happening to you and I guess being told you can't go
home is pretty bad."

An official with the department of foreign affairs would only say the
Canadian officials are assisting a Canadian in the country.

"Canadian consular officials in Havana, Cuba are providing consular
assistance to a Canadian citizen in Cuba and are in contact with local
authorities on the matter," said the spokesperson.

Sunwing Vacations, the travel agency Barnett booked his trip with, said
it's holding a seat for him on its next flight out of Varadero and on to
Winnipeg, free of charge. A spokesperson said the agency is just waiting
for the green light from authorities.

Barnett said he's trying to be patient for just a while longer.

"It's time to come home," he said. "And everyone tells me that will
happen. You just need to be patient."

Source: Winnipegger stuck in Cuba after hitting a pedestrian - Manitoba
- CBC News -

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