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Cuban government apologizes to Montreal-area family after delivering wrong body

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Cuba's foreign affairs minister has apologized to a Montreal-area family after they were sent the wrong body following the death of a loved one.

Faraj Jarjour, 68, died on March 22 in Varadero, Cuba during a family vacation.

The family paid $10,000 to have his body returned to Laval, Que. with them. But when they went to identify the father of two, a Russian man about 20 years younger was in the casket.

"I talked by phone with [Minister Mélanie Joly] about unfortunate incident related to the transfer of corpse of Canadian citizen who died in Cuba," wrote Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez on X. "Cuban authorities investigate to clarify incident. I conveyed heartfelt condolences & apologies to relatives and friends of the deceased."

Cuba offers refund to family

The family was devastated after the tragic incident and is still waiting to find out what happened to Jarjour's body.

Joly, Canada's foreign minister, called it an "unimaginable situation" on social media, adding that, "Canada will continue to help the Jarjour family until this situation is resolved."

Global Affairs Canada said it met with the Cuban ambassador Wednesday to discuss the situation.

"We appreciate that Minister Rodriguez has publicly expressed apologies to the family and relatives of this Canadian citizen and agreed to refund the family the cost of the repatriation service," wrote spokesperson Jason Kung in an email to CTV News. "We welcome the Cuban government’s firm commitment to rectify this extremely unfortunate situation as soon as possible. According to an email from spokesperson Jason Kung, as a spokesperson from Global Affairs Canada."

Correction

An earlier version of this story stated that the Canadian government offered the family a refund for the repatriation. In fact, the Cuban government offered the refund. 

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