Dates for your diary 23 February and 9 March

SEMINAR SERIES 2022: Cuban medical internationalism

A series of seminars from the world’s leading experts on Cuba organised by the IISC and the University of Buckingham.

These events will be streamed live using Microsoft Teams. 

Cuban Medical Internationalism: One of the World’s Best-Kept Secrets

9 March, 2022. 5pm GMT 

John M. Kirk, Emeritus Professor of Latin American Studies, Dalhousie University, Canada

This presentation examines the role of Cuba in providing medical support to countries around the globe, a process which started in 1960.  When the Ebola epidemic arrived in Western Africa (2013-2016), Cuban medical personnel were the first to respond to the WHO appeal for support.  Cuban specialists went to 40 countries to help efforts against Covid-19.  Why has this small country (pop. 11.2 million) taken on this role, often having more medical personnel working in the Global South than all G-8 countries combined?  In recognition of decades of medical collaboration throughout the globe, Cuba was nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.  This talk studies the origins and evolution of Cuban medical internationalism, and analyzes the reasons for it. 

Until his recent retirement, John M. Kirk was Professor of Latin American Studies at Dalhousie University, Canada. He has authored and edited numerous books on Cuban international relations, history and culture, including Cuba at the Crossroads (2020), Cuban Foreign Policy: Transformation Under Raúl Castro (2018), and Healthcare Without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism (2015). He has also worked as an interpreter for the former Premier of Nova Scotia, John Savage, in meetings with President Fidel Castro, as well as with Aleida Guevara (daughter of Che). John edited the Contemporary Cuba book series for the University Press of Florida, and since 2018 is the co-editor of the Lexington Studies on Cuba series.  In Cuba, he was appointed to the Editorial Council of the Annals of the Academy of Sciences, received the Medal of Friendship from the Cuban Council of State in 2011, and in 2012 became an Honorary Member (Profesor Invitado) of the University of Havana.  He has given invited testimony on Cuba to the Canadian House of Commons and Senate committees on foreign relations.  He has also worked as a consultant for investors in the energy, food, and tourism sectors.

To attend this event, register by clicking HERE


What Logic is Driving Joe Biden’s Cuba Policy?

23 February, 2022. 5pm GMT

Professor William M. LeoGrande, American University, Washington DC.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Joe Biden criticized Donald Trump’s sanctions and promised to re-engage with Cuba. Once in office, however, Biden did nothing for the first six months. It appeared that domestic politics—especially Democratic loses among Latino voters in south Florida in 2020 and the influence of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)—were dictating policy. The protests in Cuba on July 11, 2021, pushed Cuba to the top of Biden’s foreign policy agenda, raised the domestic political cost for Biden to take any positive steps to improve relations, and rekindled in some U.S. officials the 62-year old dream of regime change. As Biden begins his second year in office, is his Cuba policy being driven by domestic politics or hopes of finally rolling back the Cuban revolution?

William is Professor of Government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America. He has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1992. Most recently, he is coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representative

To REGISTER for this event click HERE