‘I like to dance — salsa, merengue and bachata’
Sham marriage undone by man’s love of dance
A Cuban man’s wooing of a Quebec woman while she was on vacation has been revealed as a marriage scam to get into Canada after his excuse of a bad back preventing intimacy clashed with revelations he went out Latin dancing several times a week.
The man, who moved to Canada after an intense romance and a wedding in Cuba, has now been ordered deported.
The sour seduction started when Dreisber Alcina Rodriguez, now 36, approached a woman from Quebec holidaying in Santa Lucia, Cuba, in February 2010. Five years her junior, he flattered, pampered and charmed her, the Federal Court of Canada heard.
When her vacation ended, Rodriguez continued emailing her and the couple maintained a long-distance relationship. By December, when she returned to see him in Cuba, he proposed.
The woman, identified as V.G. in a recent Federal Court decision, returned to Cuba in February 2011 for their wedding. She then sponsored him to immigrate to Canada.
When he came, court heard, the bloom immediately dropped from their romance. When first arriving at the Montreal airport, he made a derogatory comment to her about her appearance in front of her friends who came to greet him, court heard.
Within days he asked a Spanish translator what the impact of a divorce would be on his residency status in Canada.
Unlike his romantically clingy demeanour in Cuba, he was cold and distant in Canada, court heard. Their steamy sex life in Cuba similarly evaporated once he arrived here.
While he complained that a problem from a herniated disc in his back made it impossible to get a job or have sex, he managed to go out dancing two or three nights a week, returning in the morning, court heard.
“I like to dance — salsa, merengue and bachata,” he told an immigration officer in 2013.
In October, Rodriguez left his wife and, in December, she denounced him to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
Undaunted, Rodriguez filed for separation with a demand for her to pay him support, since he didn’t have a job. In response, she filed for an annulment of the marriage in Quebec court.
Rodriguez claimed his wife failed to help him integrate in Canada and he felt isolated. He said she now wants him out of Canada so she is not financially responsible for him.
In 2013, a Quebec judge annulled their marriage and ordered Rodriguez to pay her $2,500 for breach of trust and, in 2014, the IRB found his marriage was a sham to gain residency in Canada. That meant he was no longer eligible to remain in the country.
He fought to stay in Canada but not to salvage his marriage.
He first argued to the IRB’s appeal division he was living with a new girlfriend and needed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds to help her and her two children, whom she has shared custody of. He said he helped them with their math and French homework, a claim partially rejected as he has little knowledge of French.
The Federal Court rejected his appeal of the deportation order against him in a judgment released this month. Justice Jocelyne Gagné found no errors in the IRB’s decisions.