The families of both men say they have received support from the Canadian embassy in Havana and assurances that Foreign Minister John Baird and Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonzy have pushed the Cubans at the highest levels to provide justice for the jailed Canadians in a more timely matter.
Close observers of Canadian business and political affairs in Havana say Ottawa and the CCC have to be concerned when a major player like Tokmakjian, backed by federal money, runs afoul of the Castro regime. Canada is one of Cubas largest trading partners and its single largest source of tourism revenue
One long-time Canadian investor with many years of experience in Havana, who asked to remain anonymous because of the uncertain political climate there, said a lot of people were frustrated that CCC was an exclusive club, most of its money being eaten up by a handful of companies, including the Tokmakjian Group.
For now, the CCC says it is not worried.
The Corporation has consistently been paid by the Government of Cuba on time regardless of the external environment, said Joanne Lostracco, the CCCs manager of Government Relations.
Asked about the perils of a Canadian corporation operating in a Cuban economy tainted by corruption, Lostracco said the CCC has a strong due diligence process that imposes full financial disclosure on Canadian companies and allows the CCC to withdraw from any contract obtained through illicit means.
The Tokmakjian children remain optimistic their father will be home soon, taking heart from the fact that 10 other foreign employees of their company who were detained by Cuban authorities have been released in the past four months.
For his part, Yacoubian says he hopes to get a reduced sentence after he pleads guilty at his trial next week because I collaborated closely a collaboration acknowledged by Cuban authorities in his indictment.
Yacoubian takes anti-depressants during the day and sleeping pills at night, but he says the poor ventilation in the stifling heat and the lack of chairs for his bad back are taking a toll.
Reflecting on the role he has played in unraveling Cubas corruption scandals, he has mixed emotions.
Its a victory because now, how things were done (in the past) has been unwrapped, he says. But he also recalls the lyrics from a rock song that was popular when he and his family lived through the difficult years of civil war in Lebanon:
Dont be a hero, Yacoubian says. Heroes are so sad.