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Kings Clipstone man detained in Cuba after passport row

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A KINGS Clipstone mum whose partner is being detained by border control in storm-hit Cuba says she is fearing for his safety and does not know when she will see him again.

Yoandry Depass (27), who has lived in England for 20 years and has a British passport, had been visiting his mum in Santiago de Cuba after her house was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in November.

But when Yoandry - better known as Yogi - tried to leave the country a week later, he was detained by border control as officials refused to recognise his dual nationality and said he could not leave without acquiring a Cuban passport.

After contacting the British Embassy he was told all of these checks should have been carried out before entering Cuba and without the required documents, he should not have been granted access to the country.

Despite spending £400 on a Cuban passport, Yogi does not know when he will get his hands on it and return home to his partner Leah Hall (24) and their 15-month old daughter Jaylah.

Yesterday Leah, of Cardinal Way, says she is beside herself with worry and has lost contact with her partner over the last 48 hours.

“I feel very emotional, I just want him home now, our daughter is not sleeping at night and keeps asking for Daddy but I don’t even know if he is safe,” she said.

“He is living with his mum and grandma in a shack eating only rice and drinking dirty water and sleeping in a chair, he’s very down, he was crying on the phone the other night because he misses us so much but it’s the first time I’ve heard him cry in six years.”

Having spent all his money on funding the trip to help his mother recover from the hurricane, Yogi is currently being assisted by the British Embassy in Havana and makes three-hour round trips to a Cuban Immigration Centre each day in the hope that his passport will have arrived.

“He just wants to come home, every day he goes for his passport but every day it is not there, we were told if he left a donation it would turn up quicker but now Yogi’s phone is not working so I can’t get in touch with him at all,” added Leah.

“He has two credit cards with him with money on but he can’t use them in Cuba and it’s not safe for him to go outside at the weekend.

“Jayla was only a new born baby last year so this would have been our first proper Christmas as a family but I’m currently coming to the conclusion that he won’t be home now.

“I’m very fed up, I’m running out of money and don’t know how I’m going to survive next month, Yogi is a joiner and works with my Dad, the company have been very good and ring every day, they just want him back too.

“I’m a student nurse but I’m getting behind with my studies because I can’t work and look after Jaylah at the same time.

“Yogi’s sister Denise, who lives in Mansfield Woodhouse, also made the trip out to Cuba but was allowed to return home on time despite having the same documentations as her brother.

“It doesn’t make any sense, but I feel very let down by the Government, Cuba isn’t the safest place and it’s even worse after Hurricane Sandy.”

A website has been set up to help get Yogi home. Visit www.getyogihome.co.uk.

 

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