It seems that the Canadian government has warned its citizens that there is at least one thing Canadians should not do while visiting Cuba.
Not libre in Cuba
Calgary Herald July 28, 2010
Cody LeCompte’s story is a sad cautionary tale about visiting Cuba — a popular destination for Canadian tourists and one full of pitfalls of the kind that trapped LeCompte.
The 19-year-old from Simcoe, Ont., is languishing at a Cuban resort, forbidden to leave the country until a court decides whether he’ll face charges in a May traffic accident. LeCompte and his mother, Danette, say they were broadsided by a dump truck at an intersection, but under Cuban law, one is guilty until proven innocent.
The LeComptes need to take some responsibility for Cody’s predicament. The travel warnings on Canada’s Foreign Affairs website are clear: “Canadians should avoid driving in Cuba. . . . Under the Cuban judicial system, charges are not laid until the investigation is complete, and the accused may be jailed during the entire period of investigation.” Moreover, at 19, Cody should not have been driving a rental car, which are permitted in Cuba only for drivers over 21.
Canadians need to follow their government’s advice and avoid driving in Cuba. They can, however, continue enjoying steak and lobster meals while Cubans starve, buying whatever they like in stores, using actual toilet paper, high-speed internet access, boat rides, spacious hotel suites, fishing trips, and all the rest of the amenities the island nation offers its tourists but not its residents with no worries.
Hey, and those cute girls and boys that hang out outside your hotel? Go ahead, go for it–you’ll be amazed how appreciative they are if you give them a pair of jeans and a bar of soap. (wink-wink-nudge-nudge)
But whatever you do, don’t drive in Cuba.