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People’s struggle for a united Cyprus without guarantors and protectors
The Party Organization of the KKE in Cyprus held on Saturday the 11th of February a meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus with as its theme the positions of the KKE on the Cyprus issue.
Giorgos Marinos, member of the PB of the CC of the KKE, spoke at the meeting.
His speech was as follows:
“The KKE is preparing for the 20th Congress which will be held between 30th of March and 2nd of April and there is an ongoing creative dialogue- on the basis of the theses of the CC- in which members and friends are participating, a large number of working people.
The major objective of the Theses of the CC and the final decisions of the Congress is the all-round ideological-political-organizational steeling of the KKE and its Youth, as a Party of revolutionary overthrow. This steeling is a necessary precondition in order to carry out the complex tasks of the labour movement's recasting, the struggle against imperialist war, the building of social alliance towards an anticapitalist, antimonopoly direction aimed at workers' power.
The positions of the CC for the 20th Congress pay great attention to the international developments and processes in our region, analyze the contradictions that permeate the imperialist system, highlight the characteristics of the military confrontations and flashpoints, in Syria, Libya, Iraq, in Ukraine and other regions of the globe, which create the conditions for even a generalized imperialist war.
In the text of the CC, there is reference to the developments around the Cyprus Issue, the relations between Turkey and Greece, the dangers which are evident e.g. in the Aegean and Thrace, within the framework of the contradictions between the bourgeois classes and the inter-imperialist antagonisms.
We salute the members of AKEL and EDON and we honour the many years of our common struggles. The KKE looks the Cypriot people in the eye, with a clear consciousness, because all these years, in difficult conditions full of challenges and diverse interventions of powerful imperialist states, our Party stood by the side of Cyprus' working people, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, and expressed its internationalist solidarity by addressing the Cyprus Issue as an international problem of invasion and occupation.
The Theses of the CC of the KKE for the CYPRUS ISSUE which were published on 30th October 2016 found wide resonance in Greece and Cyprus:
Because, they address the heart of the problem of the elimination of Occupation and are based on the working peoples' struggle and not on expectations derived from the intervention of the US, the EU and other imperialist centers.
Because, they reveal the dangerous character of the solution promoted by the Cypriot government, which is a dichotomous-confederal solution similar to the one of the Annan Plan that legitimizes the consequences of the invasion-occupation.
Because, the KKE’s proposal sets the basic axes for a truly pro-people, viable and fair solution which can unify the island, the Cypriot people, Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, on the basis of one- and not two- states,-with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality, which is the position that the KKE defends all these years with consistency.
Lately, there is an organized attack aiming to reduce the significance of the positions of our Party on the Cyprus Issue or to distort their content. The claims used for that are malicious and contribute to the deception of the Cypriot and Greek people- by cultivating in practice the submission to the dominant forces.
Our Party insists and considers as necessary the existence of substantial debate for such complex-difficult issues, it considers as legitimate the documented struggle between different positions. “Clever” jokes on the internet and slanders show weakness and prejudice. We have experience, forces which fight against the KKE today have been tested again, they have supported the antipeople political line of the social democratic SYRIZA regurgitating known positions about “left-progressive governments” which actually serve the interests of the big capital and work for the perpetuation of capitalist barbarity.
The Communists, the friends of the KKE in Cyprus and Greece, move forwards, defending a very just cause and will continue to struggle having as a guide the workers-peoples' interests.
We insist on the discussion on the discussion, on the struggle on a political basis and in this direction we will respond to certain allegations which have been heard these days and are presented with a “progressive” mantle.
Firstly, some say: The KKE talks about the Cyprus Issue, violating the communist principle of internationalist solidarity, thus interfering in the internal affairs of another state or, they say that the KKE could only talk about the issues of security and guarantees.
We will repeat that proletarian internationalism is the soul of the KKE and this has been proved in its almost 100-year history, in even more difficult situations, and continues to be demonstrated daily in the principled stance that the KKE maintains in its relations with dozens of communist parties, by supporting the peoples' struggle everywhere in the world.
KKE's positioning on the Cyprus Issue is an obligation, because the problem is international and affects the developments in the region, the developments in Greece and the Greek people. The KKE exercises its right to defend its opinion and we would say to the devotees of this unfounded view to reconsider its implications and take into account that members of Greek political parties visit Cyprus and take positions, while members of the Cypriot parties have been visiting Athens and discussing with the governments all these years, they discuss with the political parties, organize events and many times the support of the KKE has been requested- and still is- for the Cyprus Issue.
Let us remember the 2002-2004 period, during the Annan Plan, and the militant contribution of the KKE to the plan's rejection by the Cypriot people. The contribution of the KKE which then too, caught firmly the pulse of the developments, without wavering and while all the other Greek parties, PASOK, New Democracy, Synaspismos were supportive of the dichotomous plan.
Secondly, they say: The KKE entangles the Cyprus Issue with Greek-Turkish relations and that must not be done- Cyprus is an independent state.
This claim has no relation to any reasonable approach of the developments.
But, I will set some issues because the developments are very worrying and the myths invented for opportunistic reasons must be explained and refuted.
It is impossible to spherically, substantially examine the Cyprus Issue or the problems in Greek-Turkish relations detached from the developments in the broader region, from the course and intensity of the inter-imperialist contradictions, the intervention of the US, NATO, EU in competition, for example, with Russia for the natural resources and energy pipelines. These contradictions have led to the wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine.
You cannot examine the Cyprus Issue without taking into account the broader aggressiveness of Turkey's bourgeoisie and state which maintains the occupation of 37% of the island for 43 years, has military forces, for example, in Syria, Iraq, military bases in the Balkans and elsewhere. While, at the same time, it talks about “grey zones”, indulging in daily violations of the borders, disputing the Greek islands, the sovereignty and the EEZ of Greece and Cyprus, raises the question of challenging the Lausanne Treaty and of border changes in the wider region.
These dangerous developments require responsible positions and fighting against perceptions which objectively lead to positions claiming that “no matter if the whole region is in flames, a fair solution to the Cyprus Issue can be ensured”.
Let us widen the issue. The KKE, for example, considers it necessary that the Cypriot parties take a position e.g. concerning the issue of the developments in the Aegean, also regarding the policies of the Greek parties and the policies of the SYRIZA-ANEL government which, alongside the implementation of the memorandums and the more general harsh antipeople policies, supports the NATO and EU “predatory alliances”, positions itself in line with the Common Security and Defense Policy and entangles our country in the imperialist antagonisms in the name of its geostrategic upgrading on behalf of the bourgeois interests.
Third, they say: the KKE misinterprets the statements made by Akinci or Turkish governmental-state officials regarding the “two states”.
KKE speaks on the basis of data and facts.
A basic issue which refutes the claim regarding an alleged misinterpretation is the initial agreement, the common statement of Mr.Anastasiadis and Mr.Eroglu on February 2014 which talks about “two constituent states”, with which Mr.Akinci agreed- thus fulfilling his own role in the enforcement of a dichotomous solution- two states.
But it is not only that.
Throughout the bicommunal talks there are interventions which show that the leadership of Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot side insists on maintaining the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” which is a result of invasion-occupation.
A basic dogma of the Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot side is that the Turkish-Cypriot constituent state will be the continuation of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (TRNC) – On April 2015, Mr.Akinci spoke about “two equal states”.
Recently, addressing the Greek-Cypriot side, Mr. Erdogan provocatively stated: “without being ashamed they participate in the EU summits with a flag with includes the whole Cyprus. You cannot have such a flag there, there is also a TRNC. You are the Greek-Cypriot administration of South Cyprus. In the North there is a Turkish republic...”.
On January 12th, commenting the progress of talks in Geneva, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Cavusoglu said that the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is a mature state with vision and that the views of Turkey are fully in line with the TRNC”....
They say to us that statements do not count, but what counts is what is submitted and what is being discussed on the table of negotiations, and we say that this is a simplification because what the KKE puts are actual facts which show intentions, plans of Turkey's bourgeoisie and every effort to downgrade this poses the danger of projecting a false image, in order to create an environment of artificial euphoria; but this causes damage because it generates false expectations, blunts the militant reflexes and intensifies the people's manipulation.
Fourthly, they say: The KKE cannot talk about the Establishment Treaty because it constitutes the basis for the creation of the Republic of Cyprus.
First of all, we must note that Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, characterizing it as “defunct” and unfortunately this has become a habit that reaches the point of compromise and acceptance of such positions, as happened in the recent Geneva Conference on January 12th when the president of Cyprus was not addressed with his actual title, but as honorable Mr.Anastasiadis, just as Mr.Akinci was.
Indeed, the KKE criticizes all the three treaties; of the Establishment which provides for the status of the British bases, of the Alliance and of the Guarantees, and we consider that this stance is necessary and contributes to the struggle of the Cypriot people.
Besides, we are not saying anything new. We utilize the experience of the previous years and we reiterate the demand for the abolition the British bases which constitute a tool of NATO in Cyprus and, together with the US base in Suda, are being used in imperialist plans.
The sovereignty of Cyprus cannot be based on the problematic agreement of 1960 but on the struggles that the Cypriot people, who do not need imperialist “crutches”, have waged and must wage.
Comrade Ezekias Papaioannou, GS of AKEL for many years, with whom the KKE had comradely relations and honours him, raised important issues. In his book “Remembrances of my life” he writes that “the worst provisions of the Zurich-London Agreement which express the compromise with imperialism are the Treaties of Establishment, Guarantees and Alliance. Based on the Establishment Treaty, the British imperialists secured 99 square miles of Cypriot territory and 32 other points in various parts of Cyprus for the British sovereign bases”... and cde. Ezekias, talking about the necessary mutual confidence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, characteristically points out that these conditions actually “crippled the island's independence”.
Fifth, they say: the KKE changed its position and today it does not support the Bicommunal Bizonal Federation, the issue is: “A Single state or a Federation?”.
The correct briefing of the Cypriot and Greek people regarding the history of the Bicommunal Bizonal Federation is necessary.
The Turkish bourgeoisie tried in a planned way to create faits accomplis for the creation of two states, by exploiting the problems of the Zurich-London Agreement, the position of the “Union (Enosis) of Cyprus with Greece”, the activity of extreme- nationalist forces from both sides.
The Turkish aspirations were advanced through the Turkish invasion and occupation on July 1974, after the coup organized in Cyprus with the responsibility of the Junta and the complicit stance of the US, NATO and Britain.
During the 1960s, the method of creating pockets and a number of Turkish-Cypriots were transferred to certain areas for the formation of a Turkish-Cypriot territorial zone.
Because the high level agreements between Makarios and Denktash in 1977 and Kyprianou-Denktash in 1979 are projected as the basis of the Bicommunal Bizonal Federation- but without presenting information about the discussions that took place, the relevant pressures and blackmails- we will refer to only one fact. In his interview in the Turkish-Cypriot magazine “Olay” (16/7/79), the Turkish-Cypriot leader Denktash, giving his own definition of the Bizonal Federation pointed out: “The concept of the Bizonal (Federation) is that I am a state with my own territory, like one of the two Federal States. I am sovereign regarding many issues, within my territory this sovereignty is absolute and no one can take it away from me”.
In 1983 the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” was declared and this was again utilized to create faits accomplis.
Dear comrades and friends,
In the main document of the bicommunal talks of this period, that means in the Common Statement of Anastasiadis-Eroglu on 11th February 2014, the promoted “solution plan for the Cyprus Issue” provisions the creation of “Two Constituent States” and despite the prettification efforts, this solution is dichotomous, dangerous.
In practice, as happened with the Annan Plan, partition goes through the so-called Bicommunal Bizonal Federation which from a “painful compromise”, as it was characterized by Cypriot and Greek parties, was later seen as a principled position.
The KKE, which had adopted the position of Bicommunal Bizonal Federation as a compromise, expressing its solidarity with AKEL, carefully examined the developments, studied the experience of the Annan Plan, the positions which were posed later and especially the position about “Two Constituent States” and decided to define its position on the basis for a new situation, retaining the basic framework for a “SINGLE STATE, a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, a single International Personality which acquire substance with the KKE's proposal.
As is indicated in the Theses of the CC for our Party's 20th Congress “the new processes lead to the finalization of the partition of Cyprus, substantially in the formation of two separate state entities which only formally and temporarily will establish a Federation”.
Thus, in practice it is a Confederation of two states, which will have their own territorial integrity, their own borders and therefore sovereignty, their own constitution, parliament and government, their domestic and foreign policy, their own policy for Education, Health, Social Security, labour relations, including wages- numerous discriminations which, apart from anything else, will be an obstacle to the common action of Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot workers who will continue suffering the consequences of a high degree of exploitation.
In practice, the principles for a single Sovereignty, a single Citizenship and a single International Personality are cancelled, thus negating the slogans which talk about the island's unification.
The powers that the federal government will have do not reverse this situation. The major factor which is affected is the borders, the territorial sovereignty (territory) and the other issues mentioned above.
The effort to equate Cyprus, e.g. with the USA, Russia, Switzerland has no real basis, because the starting point and historical course are different and the effects of the occupation are intense. In the states mentioned there are no internal borders.
In practice, the Turkish-Cypriot constituent state will maintain strong ties with the Turkish bourgeois state, will implement its own foreign policy.
The problems which arise are very important, with geostrategic dimensions and implications of broader significance.
What is the stance that the Turkish-Cypriot Constituent State will have regarding the complex developments in our region, regarding the presence of Turkish forces in Syria and Iraq? What will happen in the relations with NATO? What is it going to do in relation to Greek-Turkish relations, the border violations, the provocations by president Erdogan and the challenging of the Lausanne Treaty, the EEZ, the Continental Shelf, the International Convention of the Law of the Sea of 1982?
The dichotomous solution contains many elements which in their development will have negative effects and may trigger even more the sharpening of the contradictions and the situation in Eastern Mediterranean with very painful consequences for the peoples in the region.
Because of its geostrategic position and role in a region which is a geographical crossroad, Cyprus - with natural resources in a region where powerful monopoly interests cross their swords – constitutes the terrain of inter-imperialist antagonisms and conflicts, with the involvement of the US, Britain, NATO, EU, of the bourgeois classes of Turkey, Greece, Cyprus.
This fact is connected with the birth and perpetuation of the Cyprus Issue and today it is obvious that the problem has passed into a new phase of sharpening, because of the imperialist military operations in the region and the antagonisms over the natural gas fields and the energy pipelines.
The systematic interventions of the US and the EU for the acceleration of the talks and the signing of an agreement “at any cost”, aim to create faits accomplis, in order to open the way for the exploitation of the island's energy reserves to the benefit of the interests of the bourgeois classes and the euroatlantic plans.
We are talking about very big interests, opponents of the Cypriot people and must be understood that “they don't give a damn” about a fair and viable solution, about the unity of Cyprus' working people.
A glance is enough. The monopolies have taken their position. “Noble Energy”, “Delek”, “ENI/TOTAL”, “Exxon/Mobil”, “Qatar Petroleum”, “Statoil” and others.
It is not only that. The aim is also the utilization of Cyprus' geostrategic position in the competition of the US, NATO and the EU with Russia in the conditions of the intensification of the overall inter-imperialist contradictions that have occurred in our region, where imperialist wars in Syria, Iraq and Libya are raging.
Dear comrades and friends,
Recently, members of SYRIZA in Greece, the known defenders of the Annan Plan as well as various other supporters of the new version of the dichotomous solution, persistently downgrade the international dimensions of the Cyprus Issue and try to impose an atmosphere that underestimates the invasion-occupation, by restricting the causes of the problem to developments and events of the 1960s, which of course have their own importance. But it is impermissible to use them in order to reduce the role of invasion-occupation which was a qualitative change and basic cause of the situation that has been formed in the island.
The same forces are also praising the role of the imperialist European Union and cultivate illusory expectations about its role, while they attempt to beautify the role of Turkey's bourgeoisie – expecting benefits from its cooperation with the bourgeois classes of Greece and Cyprus.
The Cypriot and Greek people are required to be vigilant because such positions are not random but are in fact testing the waters, paving the way for very harmful developments, the acceptance of maintaining the occupation forces in Cyprus and the perpetuation of the status-quo regarding the guarantors, in the name of the realism of submission.
Dear comrades and friends,
From November until today, the talks in Switzerland were greatly promoted and especially cultivated false hopes for the Geneva Conference on January 12th, concealing the fact that the talks are undermined and their results are defined by the framework of “two constituent states”.
Regarding the interpretation of the talks in Switzerland, there is an effort to characterize them as positive, justifying their continuation on the same basis.
Under what criteria can they be evaluated as positive?
Let us look at some examples.
It is said that for the Territorial Issue the positive thing is that the two sides have submitted the maps held by the UN.
An agreement is sought concerning the territories which will remain under the control of the Turkish-Cypriot authorities, a percentage between 28.2% according to the proposal of the Greek-Cypriot side and 29.2% according to the Turkish-Cypriot one. We don't know what will happen with the area of Morphou and Karpasia regarding which the Turkish side has reacted negatively. However, the positive assessment is not substantiated. In 1977, for example, the percentage in the proposal set by the Greek-Cypriot side was at 19.7% and afterwards gradually increased, up to the 28.7% of the Annan Plan.
What happens regarding the return of the refugees?
Due to the invasion-occupation some 200,000 refugees were uprooted.
In Mont Pelerin it was agreed, at first, the return of a minimum of 78,247 and maximum of 94,484 refugees, with a retreat by the Greek-Cypriot side to 92 thousand. The Turkish-Cypriot side did not abide by that and proposed the return of approximately 65,000 refugees. In previous period, the discussion included numbers about the return of about 120,000 refugees.
What happens in the property issue? After so many years of talks it has not been determined whether or not the legal owner will have priority over the user.
On the Settlers, Turkey does everything in order to legitimize a large number of settlers, even in discrepancy with the number of Turkish-Cypriots.
It has been said that an agreement for the Governance is being advanced but we believe that it cannot be regarded as a positive outcome that the examined process for addressing deadlocks- by lot in the Cabinet, so that a four-member committee becomes a three-member one in order to take a majority- minority decision for potentially serious political problems.
Finally, what happens with the guarantees- the security, the occupational military forces?
KKE has been criticized with the flimsy argument that it is not true that the replacement of the guarantor powers by an EU or NATO mechanism is being considered.
On March 2016 Mr.Akinci stated that “there can be no solution without the guarantees of Turkey”.
On 25 January 2017, Mr.Akinci stated that “The Turkish army will not fully withdraw after a solution.... and in case the constitutional order is under threat, the Turkish-Cypriots would be able to call Turkey after a decision of their parliament...”.
It is not a secret that the US Assistant Secretary of State Ms. Nuland has persistently raised the issue of maintaining the occupation forces thus favoring the solution of the establishment of a Turkish military base in Cyprus.
It is also not a secret that there is an effort to establish the EU as a guarantor power or that there are proposals to send an international police force- from Islamic or other countries.
It is necessary for all the occupational forces must immediately leave Cyprus, without the existence of guarantors and protectors- every retreat from this aim reproduces the problem.
As for the expectations being cultivated about a Friendship Agreement between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus or a Special (guarantee) decision of the UN Security Council, the answer is provided by the 43 -year o occupation under the responsibility of the UN too, the answer is provided by its role as a tool of the US and NATO in the imperialist wars, e.g. in Yugoslavia, Libya, while the Friendship Agreements and the Confidence measures have worked as a temporary relief valve without addressing the substance of the problems, they are not a panacea.
Let me provide an example. Both the Dayton Agreement, as well as the relevant decision of the UN Security Council, supposedly guaranteed that Kosovo was an integral part of Serbia, but in practice that wasn't respected- Kosovo became a protectorate.
The KKE says to the Cypriot and the Greek people to be cautious because there are positions and scenarios which do not have at the center of their attention the abolition of the occupation and guarantees, but their modernization.
Dear comrades and friends,
The KKE’s proposal provides a way out, it supports the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces and all the foreign military forces and this is the proposal of popular struggle, of assertion, for immediate implementation- a clear one, without equivocations. The KKE proposal is firmly based on the unified interests of Cyprus' working people, it respects the rights of Turkish-Cypriots, Greek-Cypriots, Maronites, Latins and Armenians.
It shows the way for an Independent Cyprus, a unified one, that means one and not two states, with the right to free, unrestricted movement, settlement and accommodation of working-popular families in all the areas of the island, without conditions and commitments.
With the safeguarding of the labour, social security, social rights without discrimination, and this is very important. With respect for the right to language, education, religious choices and cultural traditions.
The working people, the people of toil have the right to live without the exploitation of man by man and those forces which incriminate the struggle for Socialism support the perpetuation of bourgeois power and capitalist barbarity.
Honouring, celebrating the 100 years of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the communists, men and women, in every country must consolidate their identity and trajectory, and strengthen the struggle for socialism.
The struggle of the working class and the popular strata everywhere, in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and the other countries of the region will be strengthened as long as Proletarian Internationalism is intensified and the struggle is directed against the monopolies and the exploitative system, for workers power and the socialization of the wealth, for the disengagement from the imperialist organizations, the EU, NATO; for the formation of the conditions for international relations based on mutual benefit.
We believe that this is the direction which corresponds to the working class-peoples interests and can lend impetus and great strength to the coordinated struggle, to allow us combat the offensive of capital, to meet the requirements of the struggle against the imperialist wars.
Dear comrades and friends,
We hear unacceptable slanders about nationalism but those who repeat or tolerate them are completely exposed. We say them only that such accusations do not touch us: “No rust can stain this marble”.
The KKE clashes with bourgeois nationalism and cosmopolitanism, both of which serve the partition of Cyprus, either openly or in disguise, and we want to point out that it can be understood that nationalism is dealt a blow by the KKE positions which cancel the policy of “two states” that entrenches, reproduces every sort of discrimination and impedes the common struggle of the Cypriot people- Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots who have nothing to divide them.
In these complex situations, what is highlighted is the major significance of the necessity for the development of the working class-people's struggle and the decisive response to illusions which have been cultivated about the role of the US, Britain and other powerful capitalist states. The expectation for a solution “from above” facilitates initiatives which position Cyprus on the chessboard of the inter-imperialist competition. It is especially necessary to struggle against positions that present Cyprus' accession to the EU as a pro-people solution and regard as a panacea the so-called “acquis communautaire” which coincides with the promotion of capital's strategy and interests, which are contrary to the interests of the working class, of the working people of Cyprus”.