Why Justine Davis felt safe driving in Cuba
Update: The Canadian government and the Cuban embassy in Ottawa announced Thursday that Justine Davis will be allowed to leave Cuba and is expected to arrive in Canada on Friday.
|Justine Davis, son Cameron in Cuba.
Justine Davis is the latest visitor detained in Cuba while police investigate the circumstances of a fatal road accident. Like all who have been in her situation, she wants to go home.
But there is a compelling reason for her desire to return to Toronto.
This weekend is the funeral of Davis's three-year-old son, Cameron, who was killed in late December when a scooter operated by his mother collided with a truck on Cayo Largo, a resort island on Cuba's south coast. Davis wants to be at her son's funeral in Canada.
Cuba, we know, has been rigid in forcing foreigners to remain in the Caribbean nation until its often lengthy investigations are complete. Damian Buksa, 34, of Mississauga, was detained for months after a July 2013 fatal accident near Guardalavaca.
According to Bjesment, a Polish newspaper in Toronto, Buksa was finally granted permission to leave in November, though further bureaucratic delays kept him in Cuba until December.
The rules, however, may be eased for Davis, herself badly injured in the crash. Supporters have mounted a campaign for her return (see the Facebook group) and say diplomatic efforts may be having some sway with Cuban authorities.
News reports about Davis's accident have spurred callous comments about the wisdom of taking a child on a gas-powered scooter in a country known for its driving risks.
What the critics are ignoring, however, is the quiet nature of Cayo Largo, a tiny island where tourists routinely putter about on scooters and in rental Jeeps. According to cayolargo.net, "There is very little traffic in Cayo Largo and only few roads and paths; it is almost impossible to get lost."
The site does go on to mention that scooter rentals have been cancelled in the past because of accidents. Still, given the locale and given Davis's apparent familiarity with motorcycles, judging by the bikes that appear in her family photos, we can see why she felt comfortable venturing out with Cameron.