Winnipegger stuck in Cuba after hitting a pedestrian
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."