PRIME Minister David Cameron has said the Government is in regular contact with Cuban authorities over the ongoing detainment of Kings Clipstone dad Yogi Depass.
Mr Cameron was responding to a question from Sherwood MP Mark Spencer who asked the Prime Minister to assist with the campaign to try and bring the 27-year-old home to his family for Christmas.
Yogi has been stranded in Santiago de Cuba since returning to help his mum recover from Superstorm Sandy which destroyed her home in November.
Despite having dual nationality, border officials detained Yogi because he did not have a Cuban passport and he has had to spend £400 applying for the new documentation.
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.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Spencer said: “My constituent Yogi Papi Depass is currently stuck in Cuba despite having a British passport.
“I wonder if my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister could encourage the Cuban authorities to look with compassion and speed to try and get Yogi back home in time for Christmas with his family.”
Mr Cameron said: “Well I quite understand why my honourable friend raises this case because Mr Depass was born in Cuba, entered the UK but attained a British passport in 1997.
“We are in regular contact with the Cuban authorities who have advised Mr Depass that he should expect to receive his Cuban passport this week which will enable him to travel.
“Ultimately this decision does rest with the Cuban authorities but British Embassy consular officials will continue to assist him and we will keep in touch with the Honourable Gentleman.”
Mr Spencer said Yogi’s family have campaigned tirelessly for his return and he was pleased that the Prime Minister has responded so positively.
Yogi’s partner Leah Hall and their young daughter Jaylah are desperate for Yogi to get home for Christmas and have been holding fundraising events to help pay for this plane ticket.
“We’re still going and I’m trying to keep my head up, there’s still no news on his passport but the money that is being raised is helping to pay for me to stay in touch with him, pay for a visa and his flight,” said Leah.
“I have spoken to him and he says he is ok but it is very hard, we’re trying to stay positive.”