Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

ISIS fighter more important to Canada than Canadian cops in Cuba

with 13 comments

For seven months two Vancouver area police officers have been detained in Cuba facing an allegation of rape made by a fellow Canadian tourist. They were held in jail for seven days and once released were told they cannot leave the country as the investigation ran its course. 

During that period of time, no one from the Canadian Embassy in Havana bothered to go to see them. The only contact they had was with a consular official in Matanzas who sympathized with them and allowed them to make phone calls to family in Vancouver, but was not able to offer much more than that.

Last week we learned that Canadian officials from Global Affairs Canada were communicating with a former ISIS fighter dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the British media. He isn’t Canadian, he is British born but has a connection to Canada via one of his parents. 

Jihadi Jack’s real name is Jack Letts, a Muslim convert born in Oxford in 1995 to a Canadian organic farmer father, Jack and a British mother, Sally.  

In September 2014 Jihadi Jack travelled to Syria. In 2016, The Sunday Times reported that he told his parents that he had joined ISIS. He has since stated that he travelled to the Middle East “to search for the truth” and that he never really joined ISIS.  He does say he went to Syria “To spread the religion of Allah and to help Muslims.” He married a local girl after he adopted the name Abu Mohammed and they had a child. 

After the fall of ISIS Jihadi Jack was taken prisoner by the Kurdish forces who were at the forefront of the fight with ISIS. The UK said he forfeited his right to assistance because of his ties to ISIS. Because of his Canadian parentage, for whatever reason, the Canadian government has taken over the case. In fact, Global Affairs Canada has reached out to him proactively and saying in an email exchange, “If it would be possible, would you like to come to Canada?”

“I want to live a normal life. I want to come to Canada,” Jihadi Jack replied. This, despite the fact there is no evidence he has ever set foot in the country.

In the email exchange, the consular official explained that we don’t have consular operations in Syria but nevertheless they were working on it. 

Yesterday, the Leader of the Opposition raised the issue in the House of Commons in Ottawa with the Prime Minister. As with most things, the PM, Justin Trudeau gave a non-responsive answer to a simple question, saying his government “takes with the utmost seriousness the threats posed by traveling extremists.”

Well that was clear as mud. 

Meanwhile, back in Veradero, Cuba, two actual Canadians, serving police officers are being held in that country on a flimsy accusation that simply doesn’t stand up to the most cursory of examinations. The accuser’s story is nonsense and I suspect even the Cuban authorities have realized this and they have moved the goalposts in what they are saying the two officers did. Now, instead of dragging her over 500 metres from the pool bar to the resort, through the busy lobby, past a bar, coffee shop and up three flights of stairs, they are now saying they took advantage of a drunk female. They took a blood test from the accuser two days after the alleged event and somehow this is evidence of their accusation?

Well, this week the two officers finally heard from someone in Canadian consular operations. 

In that communication they acknowledge they are aware that a trial date has been set for October 25 which clearly tells us they have been in communication with the Cuban government. 

They also say there’s not much they can or will do other than monitor the situation. 

In the note, they say, “There are limitations to consular services. We are able to advocate for your fair and equal treatment under local laws. On your behalf we have asked the local authorities several times, through diplomatic channels to expedite the process, but they are under no legal obligation to do so.”

The note goes on. “Once a decision is rendered, depending on the result, you may be released and allowed to return to Canada or be incarcerated.” Well, thanks Captain Obvious.

After saying there is nothing they will do, they invited the two officers to a meeting which is to take place Thursday.  Evidently there will be officials in Ottawa and Miami dialled into the meeting where they will all say sorry, but you are at the mercy of the Cuban justice system. 

So, if I have this right, the Canadian government, which does not have consular operations in Syria, is doing whatever it can to get Jihadi Jack released from the custody of the Kurds. But in Cuba, where it does have consular operations, Global Affairs Canada is doing nothing to get two Canadian police officers released despite the nonsense allegations made against them. 

Canada is the largest supplier of tourists to the Cuban economy, more than 1.3 million a year. The next largest country is the US which provides a little more than 240,000 a year. I’d say that gives this country a little leverage with the Cuban government. 

Canada also gives Cuba a significant amount of foreign aid a year not to mention the too numerous to track federally-funded non-profits who work there helping their locals in all manner of ventures. 

It seems to me that some back-channel communications threatening their tourism and foreign aid would go a long way towards getting some justice for the two Canadian police officers unjustly accused by a sociopathic female. 

Meanwhile, the President of the US has, so far in less than two years, managed to get 17 American hostages released from places like North Korea and just last week, Turkey. If only Canada had a leader with the same testicular fortitude to take advantage of the leverage this country possesses. 


Leo Knight


Written by Leo Knight

October 17, 2018 at 8:41 pm

13 Responses

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  1. leo leo leo you have hit the nail on the head, we readily drag in political trash, garbage persons who bring nothing to improving a way of Canadian Life. Get what I said, Canadian LIfe. The Young fellows in trouble in Cuba, who do you think is gonna help them, a proper investigation has never been done. Amazingly because its a free trip, no RCMP experts were sent down to clean this up, I mean they are Canadas top dog. The young guys will survive but its very bad, a unsubstantiated allegation ruins two guy lives as she walks away. Her life will be what it is and this will not be last incident of this type for her. Daddy Warbucks in Toronto has problems


    October 17, 2018 at 9:58 pm

  2. People can say what they want about Trump but when you’re in a bad situation in a country with little democracy (if any) he’s the man you want on your side.

    Rob H.

    October 17, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    • like you said Rob “People can say what they want about Trump” as you just did ……but he is not the “man” I want on my side. He is everything most of spent our careers opposing.


      October 17, 2018 at 11:46 pm

  3. Well said, need to raise our voices as a nation!

    Janice Skinner

    October 18, 2018 at 8:32 am

  4. There is a big reason a lot of Canadian men travel to Cuba without a female partner. I am very surprised that there have been so very many outraged comments without a single thought of maybe these two cops, who should have, didn’t know better. Okay the single guy, wow, gets lucky. What is married guy doing anywhere near this. Give it a bit and see how it all pans out. They are so lucky that they are not in so many other countries. Thinking with the wrong head is why they are where they are and being cops does not make them any different than any other traveller outside of our kind and caring country. Justin does have his head up his arse as well as anyone who voted for him but apples and oranges and let’s see this one out.


    October 18, 2018 at 10:18 am

    • I don’t think that’s an accurate statement to be making about why men travel to Cuba without female companions. I doubt this was the reason for them travelling to Cuba together. However these are two young men and it is not unheard of to meet other singles on vacation, most welcome the experience and chances are you know plenty of individuals who have done the same. A lapse in judgement? Absolutely. This sociopathic female was throwing out red flags left right and center, but no one could have guessed this would be the outcome and what happened is no fault of the two men. To lie about something so vile is unforgivable and I hope we find out who it is. It may be only a matter of time. I agree with you, Trudeau is useless. A leader who cares more about foreigners than his own people.. sad. Let’s just hope the government is working behind the scenes to fix this.


      October 18, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      • Excellent response, Sue.

        Shane T

        October 19, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    • Neither are married. Men go to variety of places without women.. you’re projecting your own thoughts and goals into these men.

      Get real. Buddies go to booze and check the scenery. Nothing wrong with that


      October 22, 2018 at 1:24 pm

  5. Lol you have never met a girl or guy while single? How are you supposed to meet people? Suggesting Cuba is a popular destination for sex tourism is just plain asinine considering they met another Canadian? They could have easily just stayed in Canada. Clueless.


    October 19, 2018 at 9:57 am

    • You don’t get to meet 17 year olds in Canada without a Creep Catchers worry. Plus there was only one single guy.


      October 20, 2018 at 9:55 am

      • Creep catchers? LOL irrelevant goofs who dont matter. They pretend to be underage. This whale wasnt underage. R u dumb?

        Shes 17 looks damn near 25 and fat. Easily could make same mistake here in Canada.


        October 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm

  6. Any update on this situation? Has out fed gov’t stepped in to help? Anyone look into the background of the Father of the girl? Does he have some connections to the Liberals or any of the Fed’s given that these two officers have been left to twist in the wind by themselves? Their only support coming from friends, family & their Church.


    November 9, 2018 at 10:48 am

    • Gov’t has done nothing but Cuban court has found them not guilty


      November 16, 2018 at 11:44 am

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