100 Prominent Canadians ask Trudeau to Lift Sanctions Against Venezuela and Other Countries 

Hamilton & Montreal – April 25, 2020

Today, The Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War and the Mouvement Québécois pour la paix/Quebec Movement for Peace are forwarding to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an open letter from one hundred prominent Canadians, asking the PM to suspend Canada’s economic sanctions against the twenty countries against which it currently maintains these “coercive economic measures”. The purpose of the request to Mr. Trudeau is to enable the sanctioned countries, and indeed the entire world, to cope better with the Covid-19 pandemic. This request echoes the appeal by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to G-20 countries on March 23, 2020, for those countries “to waive sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support.”

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“According to his letter, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared, ‘I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the time for solidarity not exclusion… Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world.’”

“At the same time, ambassadors of eight countries currently affected by economic sanctions, namely, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Nicaragua, China, Russia, and North Korea, petitioned the secretary-general for  “the immediate and complete lifting of those (coercive economic) measures to enable nations to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The open letter continues:

“Following upon Mr. Guterres’s appeal, we, the undersigned, call upon your government to set a bold example for the G-20 and the world by suspending all of the economic sanctions regimes which Canada currently maintains against twenty sovereign states and/or their citizens, half of which are located in Africa.”

“Applying economic sanctions is a warlike act, and often kills more people than actual weapons. That’s why the power to level economic sanctions is restricted exclusively to the United Nations Security Council. Moreover, these sanctions hurt the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of society by causing hunger, disease, and unemployment. They are explicitly designed to do so. Officials of the US government, which routinely levels sanctions against governments it doesn’t like, have spoken openly about using suffering to try and spur ordinary civilians in targeted countries to rebel against their national authorities. The US government has also forced other countries to obey its sanctions regime against targeted states through the use of extraterritoriality, that is, by penalizing foreign corporations that dare to trade with countries which the USA has sanctioned. Humanitarian goods such as medical supplies, which are exempted from economic sanctions under international law, have consistently been denied to countries such as Iran and Venezuela, despite the crises that those two countries face. That the US government would actually increase the sanctions against those two countries during a pandemic is simply barbaric.”

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“We note that your government has also levelled unilateral, i.e., illegal sanctions. Only in the cases of Iran and North Korea has the UN Security Council authorized multilateral sanctions and, regarding Iran, those sanctions were to have been lifted in 2015 in accordance with the signing of the JCPOA and its ratification in UN resolution 2231. In response to the global pandemic, we believe that Canada’s economic sanctions, whether unilateral or multilateral (excluding those sanctions relating to the arms trade) should be suspended in accordance with the wishes of UN Secretary-General Guterres.”

The letter signed by 100 Prominent Canadians concludes: “In view of the urgency created by the pandemic, we look forward to your earliest possible reply.”


It is addressed to Prime Minister Just Trudeau with

CC to:

  1. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy-Prime Minister
  2. FP Champagne, Minister of Global Affairs
  3. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition , Conservative Party
  4. Yves-François Blanchet, leader, Bloc Québécois
  5. Jagmeet Singh, Leader, New Democratic Party
  6. Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party



  1. Greg Albo, Professor of Politics, York University
  2. Janis Alton, Voice of Women – Past Co-Chair
  3. Rachad Antonius, professeur titulaire, Université du Québec à Montréal
  4. Mary-Wynne Ashford, MD, PhD. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada
  5. Arnold August, journalist and author
  6. Imam Zafar Bangash, Islamic Society of York Region
  7. André Bélisle, président Association Québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA)
  8. Chris Black, international lawyer and author, Toronto
  9. Rana Bose, engineer and writer
  10. Marie Boti, cinéaste, v-p, International Women’s Alliance
  11. Doug Brown, co-chair, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
  12. Nancy K. Brown, membre exécutive du MQP, Raging Grannie
  13. Malcolm Buchanon, Former General Secretary Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation [OSSTF]; President Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville Chapter, Congress of Union Retirees of Canada, Hamilton and District Labour Council Executive Member
  14. Pascale Camirand, philosophe éthicienne féministe
  15. Theorora Carroll, membre des Conférences internationales sur la Science et les Affaires Globales Pugwash
  16. Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD, Graduate Program Director, Associate Professor, School of Health Policy and Management, York University
  17. Ed Corrigan, lawyer, London, ON
  18. Lay Canon Phyllis Creighton, adjunct faculty, Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College, Toronto; Anglican Award of Merit; Order of Ontario
  19. Gail Davidson, Executive Director, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
  20. Luce Des Aulniers, docteure d’État en anthropologie, professeure émérite associée, Faculté de communication, Université du Québec à Montréal (fondatrice des Études supérieures interdisciplinaires sur la mort, 1980)
  21. Yvon Deschamps, humoriste retraité et porte-parole de la Fondation Yvon Deschamps Centre-Sud
  22. Emily Drysdale, Master of Social Work
  23. Michel Duguay, physicien, professeur honoraire de l’université Laval
  24. Raôul Duguay, peintre, auteur-compositeur-interprète, Artiste pour la Paix honoraire
  25. Gordon Edwards, président-fondateur de la Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsability
  26. Nour El Kadri, professor, Strategic Management and E-Business, University of Ottawa
  27. Yves Engler, author
  28. Raef Fawaz, Ardi Contractors, Hamilton
  29. John Foster, Kingston ON, economist, author of Oil and World Politics
  30. Alan Freeman, University of Manitoba, Former Principal Economist, Greater London Authority
  31. Rolf Gerstenberger, Past President, Local 1005 USW, Hamilton
  32. Ali T. Ghouse MD FRCPC. Clinical Associate Professor, McMaster University
  33. Judy Goldschmidt, Mid Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
  34. Cy Gonick, founder, Canadian Dimension Magazine
  35. Stephen Roy Gowans, author, Ottawa
  36. Malcolm Guy, réalisateur/producteur, Productions Multi-Monde; vice-président externe, Ligue internationale de lutte des peuples (LILP-ILPS)
  37. Judy Haiven, PhD, Writer/Activist, retired professor, Saint Mary’s University
  38. Larry Hannant, Historian and Author, Victoria, BC
  39. David Heap, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario
  40. André Jacob, auteur et artiste visuel, ex vice-président des Artistes pour la Paix
  41. Pierre Jasmin, Artiste pour la Paix, Co-prés. d’honneur du Mouvement Québécois pour la Paix
  42. Frederick Jones, Past President, Dawson Teachers’ Union
  43. Bruce Katz, Co-président, Palestinian and Jewish Unity
  44. Amir Khadir, médecin infectiologue, ex-député de Québec solidaire
  45. Saïdeh Khadir, médecin
  46. Robert Korol, Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering, McMaster University
  47. Dr. Atif Kubursi, Professor Emeritus of Economics, McMaster University
  48. Jean-Daniel Lafond, O.C., Chevalier Arts et Lettres, cinéaste et écrivain, co-président et directeur général de la Fondation Michaëlle Jean
  49. Gérald Larose, professeur à l’UQAM et ex-président de la Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux
  50. Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer, journalist, activist
  51. Tony Leah, Chairperson, Unifor Local 222 Political Action Committee, Oshawa
  52. Pierre LeBlanc, auteur et analyste, Ottawa
  53. Michael A. Lebowitz, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Simon Fraser University
  54. Ed Lehman, President, Regina Peace Council
  55. Tamara Lorincz, PhD candidate, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University (and activist)
  56. Kevin MacKay, Professor, Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
  57. Harinder Mahil, Union Representative, Vancouver, BC
  58. Robbie Mahood, Family Physician, member of Socialist Action
  59. Izabella Marengo, danse contemporaine, vice-présidente des Artistes pour la Paix
  60. Robin Matthews, poet, professor, political activist
  61. Donna Mergler, professeure emerita, Université du Québec à Montréal
  62. André Michel, artiste multi-disciplinaire, président national ex-officio des Artistes pour la Paix
  63. Rabbi David Mivasair
  64. Christian-P. Morin, webmestre et membre du C.A. des Artistes pour la Paix
  65. Michèle Nevert, professeur titulaire, Université du Québec à Montréal, ex-présidente du Syndicat des Professeurs
  66. Bich N’Guyen, MD, FRCPC, Chef, service ès pathologie, grappe Optilab Montréal-CHUM
  67. Éric Notebaert MD, Association Canadienne des Médecins pour l’Environnement
  68. Isabel Orellana, professeure, Centre de recherche en éducation et formation relatives à l’environnement et à l’écocitoyenneté- Centr’ERE, Université du Québec à Montréal
  69. Leo Panitch, Emeritus Professor of Politics, York University
  70. John Philpot, International lawyer, Member of the Consultative Council of the American Association of Jurists
  71. France Piché
  72. Ramana, Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia.
  73. Denis Rancourt, PhD, researcher, Ontario Civil Liberties Association
  74. Judi Richards, Artiste pour la Paix
  75. Yvon Rivard, écrivain, professeur honoraire à l’université McGill
  76. Karen Rodman, Exec Director, Just Peace Advocates
  77. Rob Rolfe, poet
  78. Herman Rosenfeld, retired Canadian Auto Workers Staffperson and Worker Educator
  79. Dimitri Roussopoulos, Mouvement pour le Désarmement Nucléaire et la Paix, author and book publisher (Black Rose Books 50e anniversaire)
  80. Sid Ryan, Past President, Ontario Federation of Labour
  81. Céline Saint-Pierre, professeure sociologue émérite à l’UQAM
  82. Richard Sanders, founder, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
  83. Samir Saul, professeur d’histoire, Université de Montréal
  84. Lucie Sauvé, directrice du Centre de recherche en éducation et formation relatives à l’environnement et à l’écocitoyenneté, Université du Québec à Montréal
  85. Sid Shniad, founding member, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
  86. William Sloan, vice-président des Artistes pour la Paix et exécutif MQP
  87. Ken Stone, Executive Member, Syria Solidarity Movement; Treasurer, Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War
  88. Itrath Syed, PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University
  89. Phil Taylor, host, The Taylor Report, CIUT.fm
  90. Henry-Evans Tenbrinke, Executive Member, CURC Hamilton/Halton
  91. Louise Vandelac, Ph.D. Professeure titulaire, Département de sociologie et Institut des sciences de l’environnement de l’UQAM Co-rédactrice en chef de VertigO, la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement Chercheure Pôle risques, MRSH Université de Caen Normandie, Chercheure CINBIOSE, CIRODD, CENTREAU, RRSPQ, RISUQ Directrice du CREPPA, UQAM
  92. Dr. Maria Paez Victor, Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre
  93. Larry Wasslen, président, Ottawa Peace Council
  94. Paul Weinberg, journalist and author, Hamilton
  95. Patricia Willis, Denman Island Peace Group
  96. Theresa Wolfwood, Director, Barnard Boecker Centre Foundation, Victoria, BC
  97. Thomas Woodley, President, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
  98. Claudio Zanchettin, professeur de philosophie retraité
  99. Greta Zarro, Organizing Director, World BEYOND War



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