In International Manifesto Group, Uncategorized


This is a panel discussion hosted by the International Manifesto Group. The Panel took place Sunday, June 13.

About this event

Economic sanctions are becoming an increasingly popular foreign policy instrument in Western countries, deployed alone or in conjunction with military and/or diplomatic interventions to achieve strategic political and policy goals, such as ostensibly protecting individuals and states from the behaviour of wrongdoers. Because economic sanctions are considered less violent than direct military assault, they are often supported by many on the left and the peace movement, who reluctantly accept the policy as a necessary evil.

This panel, part of a broader series on sanctions, will focus on their public health effects, through an analysis of five case studies: Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria and Iran. All but one of these countries are currently under sanctions by both Canada and the United States.



Sara Kendall is a medical doctor trained in Havana, Cuba. Sara is a community organizer, arts and social justice education facilitator and professional paramedic from Vancouver, Canada. Over the past two decades Sara has been committed to international solidarity work collaborating with and supporting Latin American community struggles, particularly in the resistance to neoliberal free-trade agreements, support for migrant people, and the defense of land and life against Canadian mining corporations. This work, along with a profound respect for the Cuban medical project and her own dedication to integrated and universal healthcare led Sara to full-time study and work within the public health system in Havana, Cuba from 2014 – 2020.

Cira Pascual Marquina is a Political Science professor at the Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela in Caracas and a writer and editor for VenezuelAnalysis. She is also co‐producer and co‐host (with Chris Gilbert) of the Marxist education program Escuela de Cuadros, broadcast weekly on the Venezuelan television station ViVe and on the Alba TV dial, a social movements channel. Cira writes for outlets such as Rebelión, LaHaine, and CounterPunch, is author (with Chris Gilbert) of Venezuela: The Present as Struggle (2020, Monthly Review Press), and co‐compiler of two books: Para qué sirve El Capital: Un balance contemporáneo de la obra principal de Karl Marx and ¿Por qué socialismo? Reactivando un debate (both Editorial Trinchera).

John Perry lives and works in Masaya, Nicaragua, where he has been based since 2003. Originally from the UK, John works with a local NGO that promotes sustainable farming methods in the Masaya region, helping to build solar lighting schemes for families in isolated rural areas. John is also an independent journalist and reports on Nicaragua. He has published in The Nation, the London Review of Books, Counterpunch, The Council for Hemispheric Affairs, The Grayzone and NicaNotes, among others.

Vanessa Beeley is an independent journalist and photographer who has worked extensively in the Middle East – on the ground in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Palestine, while also covering Yemen since 2015. Currently based in Damascus, Syria, Vanessa holds several awards in journalism – in 2017 as finalist for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, in 2018 as one of the most respected journalists in the UK by the British National Council for the Training of Journalists, and in 2019, as recipient of the Serena Shim Award for uncompromised integrity in journalism. Vanessa contributes regularly to Mint Press News, RT, The Last American Vagabond, and other independent media outlets.

Seyyed Mohammad Marandi is an Iranian American academic and political analyst, Professor of English Literature, Orientalism and American Studies at the University of Tehran in Iran, who has served as Minister of Health and Member of Parliament in Iran. Prof. Marandi has published widely on topics of his expertise and appeared regularly as a political and social commentator on international news networks such as PBS, RT, ABC, CGTN, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Press TV.



Claudia Chaufan is a retired physician and practicing sociologist, with a medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires and doctorate in Sociology from the University of California. She is Associate Professor of Health Policy and Graduate Program Director at York University in Canada and has a long career of national and international teaching, writing and activism.

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