Corrupción – Cuba – Corruption
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Canadian entrepreneur jailed in Cuba two years still not charged

Canadian entrepreneur jailed in Cuba two years still not charged
Imprisonment of Cy Tokmakjian, 73, could impact international firms
doing business on the island, as they worry that practices considered
acceptable under former president Fidel Castro could now be illegal
under Raul Castro’s administration.

Two years after his arrest and with no charges laid, a Canadian
entrepreneur remains imprisoned in Cuba — a situation his Member of
Parliament says is worrying and could impact the international business
community working on the island.
Peter Kent recently visited Cy Tokmakjian in Cuba’s La Condesa prison,
where the 73-year-old is being held.
“After two years without charges we would respectfully and on the basis
of the long relationship between Canada and Cuba — we don’t always
agree, but we tend to work on our differences, whatever they are — it’s
time to move ahead and get this case resolved in a timely fashion,” said
Kent, who represents Thornhill, Tokmakjian’s hometown.
“We don’t want to interfere at all in the justice process, but we do
believe the rule of law should be respected.”
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Tokmakjian, founder of the Tokmakjian Group transportation firm, which
operates in Canada, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, was
arrested by Cuban authorities in September 2011. His company was one of
the largest foreign operations in the country.
Some businesses in Cuba are now worried that practices considered
acceptable under former president Fidel Castro could now be illegal
under Raul Castro’s administration. Those might include incentive or
performance pay and emergency assistance to the families of employees,
Kent said.
“That’s the big concern going forward,” Kent said. “One of the European
ambassadors that I spoke with a couple weeks ago said his country is
concerned because they have businesses operating in Cuba and have over
the same 20-, 30-year time period . . . used the same business practices
as those which are now considered unacceptable.”
Kent said Tokmakjian is keen to find out what charges he might face and
to defend himself against them. (The Cuban Embassy in Ottawa did not
respond to the Star’s queries about the case.)
A spokeswoman for Consular Affairs Minister Lynne Yelich said the
Canadian government has provided ongoing assistance to Tokmakijan and
his family, and that ministers have “met with senior Cuban officials to
request a timely and transparent investigation.”
Another Canadian, 53-year-old Sarkis Yacoubian, was sentenced in June to
nine years in Cuban prison on corruption charges.

Source: “Canadian entrepreneur jailed in Cuba two years still not
charged | Toronto Star” –
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2013/10/16/canadian_entrepreneur_jailed_in_cuba_two_years_still_not_charged.html

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