This is exactly what happens when you deal with and become business partners with Cuba’s Castro mafia. There is no rule of law and there is no justice. There is only what the Castro crime syndicate says there is, and if they say your money is now theirs, it becomes theirs. And if they say you are going to prison for complaining about being robbed blind, you are going to prison.
What a great environment for U.S. businesses and the investment of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, don’t you think?
Canadian fears foregone verdict in Cuban court
More than 2 1/2 years after his arrest in a wide-ranging corruption investigation, a Canadian business executive accused of bribery and tax evasion is pleading his case before a Cuban court – but his family fears the outcome has been predetermined.
Cy Tokmakjian, 74, appeared before a Cuban court on Monday for the beginning of a trial that is expected to last two weeks. His charges relate to bribery, contractual issues, and commercial crimes against the Cuban economy and he is being tried alongside at least 16 other individuals who either worked for or had dealings with his company’s operations in Cuba.
Originally from Armenia, Mr. Tokmakjian founded a transportation company in Canada in the early 1970s and later expanded the firm’s operations to Cuba, Barbados and several other countries. He was arrested in September, 2011, and held in a Cuban jail for nearly 2 1/2 years before any charges were laid.
Lee Hacker, a spokesman for Mr. Tokmakjian’s family and vice-president of finance for the Tokmakjian Group, said Mr. Tokmakjian maintained high ethical standards in his work and did not break Cuban laws.
“The allegations and charges made against the Tokmakjian Group by Cuban authorities are completely baseless and the defence will show that clearly,” Mr. Hacker said in a written statement that was provided to The Globe and Mail. “However, because of serious concerns with the lack of due process, transparency and independence in the Cuban system, we fear that the outcome has already been predetermined.”
A statement outlining Mr. Tokmakjian’s defence, obtained by The Globe, says the businessman invited Cuban officials for meals at his home and gave Christmas and New Year’s gifts to a range of recipients but made no attempt to obtain any favours in return.
Earlier this year, the Tokmakjian Group filed a claim against the Cuban government with the Ontario Superior Court. A statement of claim alleges that the company’s assets were improperly seized and that the Cuban government interfered with Tokmakjian Group’s commercial relations with its customers.
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