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Montreal nurse, a mother of three, murdered during Cuban vacation

MONTREAL —
Global Affairs Canada has confirmed that a 52-year-old Quebec woman was murdered in Varadero, Cuba.

A spokesperson for the department confirmed that Antoinette Traboulsi, who family members say went missing on Nov. 14, has been found dead and that she was the victim of violence.

Cuban authorities told their Canadian counterparts that the Montreal nurse was murdered.

Traboulsi’s cousin Sami Soussa said the victim’s friend reported her missing on Saturday and that they later learned Cuban authorities found a body a on beach. Global Affairs confirmed the victim’s identity to Soussa.

The mother of three children in Quebec travelled to Cuba Nov. 13 for a two-week holiday — a much-needed vacation after fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines — and went to the beach the next day.

According to authorities, she was found buried a metre in the sand with bite marks on her chest and her face badly beaten.

“They confirmed that it was the body of my cousin at the morgue in Cuba and apparently she’s been assassinated and buried in the sand on Varadero beach,” said Soussa.

Traboulsi was a nurse at Sacre-Coeur Hospital in Montreal, and she visited Cuba once or twice a year. Family said she considered the island nation a second home.

“She’s full of life, she likes music, she likes to have fun in her life, she really liked the lifestyle there,” said Soussa.

“She’s been going to Cuba once or twice a year for several years. She even learned how to perfectly speak Spanish.”

Soussa has asked to be the person to retrieve his cousin’s body. He said he can’t stop wondering how his cousin’s life ended.

“I want to know what happened,” said Soussa.

“I want to know how a 52-year-old woman was killed, buried one metre deep in the sand, on a public beach. There’s a resort on the same beach! What happened? Do we have a suspect? I want someone to pay.”

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