Category: Cyprus
KKE: The people must be ready and vigilant – Statement about foreign policy and the Cyprus Issue

Friday, December 2, 2016

KKE: The people must be ready and vigilant – Statement about foreign policy and the Cyprus Issue
The GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, noted the following on 28/11/2016 in his statements on Foreign Policy and the Cyprus Issue:
“The KKE follows with concern the latest developments regarding both Greek-Turkish relations as well as the Cyprus Issue. The KKE expresses its opinion with responsibility and calls on the Greek people to be in a state of readiness and vigilance.
The major everyday problems which afflict our people are expected to worsen in the coming period, as a result of the second “evaluation” and the government’s new agreements with its partners in the EU and IMF.
However, they must not treat as a secondary issue the very dangerous developments which are taking place in our region.
The dangerous plans of NATO-US-EU in the region, the competition with other powerful capitalist states, such as Russia and China, the redrawing of borders, the ambitions of regional powers, such as Turkey, to enhance their position, open the “bag of Aeolus”.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government, with the consent of New Democracy and all other parties, involves the country in these plans. It has supported to date all NATO decisions, which constitute an escalation of the competition with Russia and resemble preparation for war. It provides Greek islands for the establishment of NATO bases.
It has legitimized the NATO presence in the Aegean, on the pretext of addressing the issue of the refugee flows.
At the same time, it conceals that the de facto partition of Cyprus is being promoted, through a new type of “Annan Plan”.
We follow with special concern the systematic and repeated statements of the Turkish President regarding the revisionof the Lausanne Treaty, namely the change of borders in the region, which concerns Greece as well as other countries.
These statements are accompanied by the systematic violation of the Greek air and maritime space by Turkey.
These provocative and dangerous statements and actions are  part of the systematic efforts of the Turkish leadership to challenge the sovereignty of the Aegean islands and in general the borders and the sovereign rights of Greece.
To raise the issue of “grey areas”.
The period during which these statements are taking place is not accidental, as the negotiations for the “closing” of the Cyprus Issue are intensified, while the “haggling” between Turkey and EU is in process.
With these specific statements, Turkey objectively exerts pressure to resolve these issues in an even more negative direction for the people.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government and the other bourgeois political forces bear huge responsibilities, because, for years now, they have been assuring the Greek people that the alliance between Greece and Turkey, within NATO, is a factor of “peace and security in the region”, while at the same time NATO encourages the aggressive intentions of Turkey, since it does not recognize borders in the Aegean, considering it a single operational area.
At the same time, the unresolved for 42 years problem of invasion-occupation in Cyprus has passed today into a new phase of sharpening.
Despite the compromises of the Greek-Cypriot side, Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot side recycle dangerous positions which perpetuate the consequences of the invasion-occupation and promote the partition of Cyprus.
The systematic interventions of the USA and the EU in order to speed up the talks and for an agreement to be signed, aim at the creation of a fait accomplis, with the aim of paving the way for the exploitation of the energy deposits of the Island to the benefit of big capital and the Euro-Atlantic plans.
They have as an aim to utilize the geostrategic position of Cyprus in the competition of the USA, NATO and the EU with Russia, in conditions of general inter-imperialist conflicts which have manifested themselves in our region and are related to what energy plans will prevail for the exploitation and transportation of Cyprus’ natural gas and other energy sources from South-East Mediterranean to Europe.
The KKE, immediately after the signing of the Joint Statement Anastasiadis-Eroglu in February 2014, focused its attention on criticizing the “two constituent states” which constitutes a confederal, dichotomous solution.
The “safety valves” that are being promoted through the powers of the federal state cannot objectively solve the problem. Even more so when Turkey is speaking precisely when it talks about a “partnership of two states” and mentions that the Turkish-Cypriot state is the continuation of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.
Regarding these issues, in the coming period the KKE will take initiatives in the Parliament, the EU Parliament, at an international level, together with other Communist parties, but above all it will lead in informing and mobilizing the Greek people. As regards that, the mass organizations of the labour-people’s movement, the peace movement, every person who shares the same concerns should also help.
Now, more than ever, the workers’-people’s mobilization and international solidarity are necessary.
–        To close all NATO bases in Greece
–        To get NATO out of the Aegean.
–        For the return home of the Greek military forces from missions of NATO and the EU.
–        For the disengagement of Greece from NATO and the EU.
–        Solidarity with the victims of the wars.
–        Fair and viable solution for the Cyprus Issue, for a united and independent Cyprus, with one single Sovereignty, One citizenship and international personality, without foreign bases and troops, without foreign guarantors and protectors.
To strengthen the fight against these plans and the involvement of Greece, against the system that creates crises, wars, poverty and refugees: FOR THE PEOPLE, WHO MUST NOT SHED THEIR BLOOD FOR THE INTERESTS AND THE COMPETITION OF THE IMPERIALISTS!”
43 years since the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising against the military Junta

Thursday, November 17, 2016

43 years since the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising against the military Junta
Mass rallies have been scheduled for today in many Greek cities in order to commemorate and honour the 43rd anniversary of the students and workers uprising in Athens, which is historically known as the Polytechnic Uprising. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Youth (KNE) have organised a large demonstration-march to the U.S. embassy in downtown Athens, as well as other rallies in major cities, including Thessaloniki, Patra, Larisa, Iraklio etc. This year’s anniversary of the 1973 Polytechnic Uprising against the military Junta coincides with the visit of U.S. President Obama (15-16 November) in Greece and the SYRIZA-ANEL policy which involves the country deeper in the imperialist plans. 
What follows is a brief historical review of the 1973 Polytechnic Uprising. 
On the night of the 20th to the 21st of April 1967, the reactionary military circles of the country, which were closely connected to the secret services of the USA and NATO, conducted a military coup. The operation of the surrender of power to the army had been developed at the staff of NATO, under the code name “Prometheus”. Colonels G. Papadopoulos and N. Makarezos, who were actively involved in the preparation of the coup, became known as “the black colonels”. 

During the fascist occupation 1940-44, several of these officers participated in the security forces and the mopping’up operations against communists; some of them even worked with Gestapo and were later connected to the secret services of the English and Americans. The military junta, headed by G. Papadopoulos, N. Makarezos and the generals S. Pattakos and G. Zoitakis, having planed a conspiracy with the king and based on the article 91of the Constitution of Greece, published a decree stating the transition of all of the power to the army and the abolition of a series of articles of the Constitution, concerning democratic rights. 

Having seized the power, the military dictatorship proceeded with the materialisation of the “Prometheus” operation. Every democratic liberty in the country had been abolished, a marshal law had been imposed, strikes and meetings were banned, harsh censorship was introduced, political parties and progressive social organizations were also banned. The army took upon it extensive authority, arrests and searches had been conducted. By the order of the dictatorship, thousands of political and social fighters of our country were arrested, first and foremost cadres of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the legal, until then, political party, United Democratic Left (EDA), through which, communists also fought. According to statements by the officials of the dictatorial regime, more than 40 thousand communists had been arrested till the May of 1967.

In order to deceive people, the colonels named their coup “national revolution”, which was supposed to have been conducted “for the benefit of all the classes of the Greek society”. The army and especially the officers, were declared “driving force of the revolution”, and the struggle against communism had been set as the main goal.

The coup became possible in Greece, because the military forces of the country were under the strict control of the reaction. The labour and democratic movement had not still reorganized its forces after the defeat in the civil war of 1946-1949. The development of the mass movement in Greece was impeded by the emergency laws, which first of all prohibited the action of KKE. The leaders of the “Centre Union” Party followed a policy of fragmentation of the democratic forces, disintegrating any common stance of the opposition, aiming at the repulse of the reaction, thus enforcing it. The opportunist elements that existed inside KKE during that period had succeeded in 1958 a decision to be taken for the dissolution of the illegal party organizations, to be taken, supposing that KKE, could, at the end, allegedly be replaced by a wider structure of the Left, EDA. EDA, despite its’ high election results, up to 28%, not only failed to develop a true alternative, but even failed to prepare the party forces and the popular movement before the coup.

The regime of the 21st of April of 1967 was an overt terrorist military-fascist dictatorship of the domestic and foreign monopolies. A characteristic particularity of the military-fascist regime has been no other than the close involvement of the American imperialism, in the preparation and the establishing of the dictatorship. 

Archive Photo: People of every age honoring the 1973 Polytechnic Uprising.
The anti-dictatorship struggle

Straight after the coup, KKE strengthened its’ struggle for the rallying of all of the democratic and patriotic organizations. It summoned all the patriots, despite their party belonging, at factories, neighbourhoods, villages, universities, schools and state institutions, to organize in resistance committees, in order to overthrow the fascist dictatorship. On the initiative of KKE and EDA, the Patriotic Anti-dictatorship Front (PAM) had been formed on the May of 1967. Later, other anti-junta organizations made their appearance, such as PAK and the “Democratic Defence”.

KKE at deep illegality and in spite of the blows it had endured not only from junta, but also from the opportunists who had split the party in 1968, managed to regroup the party organizations, created the “Unified Trade Union Anti-dictatorship Movement” (ESAK) and set up its’ youth organization, the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE), which was going to play an avant-garde role in the Polytechnic uprising in 1973.

The uprising of the Polytechnion

The sharpening of the socio-economic contradictions in Greece and the rise of the anti-dictatorship movement, in 1973, lead to the deep crisis of the regime. The dissatisfaction grew even in the army, the regime’s main support.

In the mid of 1973, the demonstrations  of the workers embraced one branch of the economy after the other. One federation after the other gave notice of termination of their collective contracts and demanded a 45-50% rise in their salaries. These mobilizations were characterised by the vivacity and unity of workers, independently of their political beliefs and lead to the isolation of juntas’ people in the trade union movement.

The struggle of the university and technological institutions students was an important parameter of the political developments in Greece, especially in 1973. Their main demands were the progressive reforms in the educational system, the restoration of trade union, academic and political liberties. The students of Athens, Thessalonica, Patra, Ioannina, conducted meetings, assemblies, demonstrations with slogans such as: “Democracy”, “Down with fascism”, “Down with the dictatorship”, “One is the leader, the sovereign people”, “Freedom to the political prisoners”.

Because of the worsening of the financial standing of the poor peasantry, mass manifestations started to break out through the whole of Greece, and took the form of refusal of handing the goods over to the trade. The solidarity with the political prisoners and their families’ movement, aiming at the release of the political prisoners, also developed.

In order to diminish the pressure towards the regime, the military dictatorship, Papadopoulos went on to remove several of their collaborators from the government and to form a “political” government headed by the leader of the ‘Progressive Party’ S. Markezinis. The main task of the new government (October 8 1973) was to prepare ‘parliamentary elections’.

The political manoeuvres of Papadopoulos did not lead to the stabilization of the situation the in the country. The anti-government manifestations persisted. It is worth mentioning that the opportunist fraction that split from the party in 1968 and created the eurocommunist ‘KKE-interior’ supported the manoeuvre of ‘politization’ of the dictatorial regime. A top moment had been the uprising of the students of the Polytechnic University of Athens and of the young workers of Athens, on the 14-17 November 1973, which gave the final blow to the attempts to disguise the regime. The main slogans of the uprising were: ‘Bread, Education, Liberty’, ‘National Independence’, ‘Down with Papadopoulos’, ‘Out the Americans and NATO’ e.t.c. Large masses of workers supported the students and the young workers. The students’ mobilizations acquired the form of university building occupations, in Thessalonica and Patra. Demonstrations had also been organized in Trikala and Drama. 

Athens, 1973: A large banner in the Polytechnic says “BREAD, FREEDOM, EDUCATION” which
was one of the uprising’s major slogans.
In Athens, the students managed to create a radio station and inform people from the building of Polytechnic of the mass manifestations. KNE in Athens and the Anti-dictatorship Students’ Union (Anti-EFEE), played a special role in the organization of the struggle.

On the 17th of November, at night, tanks had been thrown at the revolted students and workers. At that night, 56 people were killed, according to official records. According to police records, 1103 citizens and 61 policemen had been injured. As it became known after the fall of the dictatorship, 34.000 bullets had been used by the police, in addition to the 300.000 cartridges of all kinds, used by the army, so as to repress the revolt. In the days of the revolt, the regime went on to arrest 2.500 people, although it announced merely the arrest of 866, having made the following presentation of their social status: 475 workers, 268 students, 74 pupils, 49 Polytechnic students.

Although the revolt had been drowned in blood, the overall reaction to the regime grew. Eight months later (24 July 1974), the dictatorship fell under the weight of its treason and adventurism in Cyprus, where the coup, that it had organized in cooperation with the secret services of NATO, aiming at the extermination of the progressive regime of President Makarios (15/7/1974) led to the Turkish invasion and occupation of the 37% of Cyprus.

Then, mass demonstrations against the dictatorship had been held in a lot of cities of Greece. The pressure of the masses had been so great that the Greek oligarchy, decided to remove junta and to hand the power over to a coalition of bourgeois parties, in which right-conservative elements persisted, in order to avoid the worst. This coalition had been but an expression of the compromise among the junta supporters, the imperialist circles of NATO and USA, as well as of the bourgeois political powers of Greece, for the ‘legal’ handing over of the power to the latter.

At the same time, and without waiting for the release and return of the comrades in exile and from abroad, the illegal organizations of KNE and KKE regained legality. The legal activity of KKE had been won de facto and the circulation of the daily party’s newspaper ‘Rizospastis’ began. The new bourgeois government was forced to abolish the anti-communist law 509, through which the political activity of KKE had been prohibited for whole decades, since 1947.

Each year, activities are held in honour of the students and workers, who revolted in the November of 1973. The culminating moment of these annual manifestations is the demonstration to the US embassy on 17th of November. 

Statements by KKE Gen. Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas after his meeting with the President of Cyprus N.Anastasiadis

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Statements by KKE Gen. Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas after his meeting with the President of Cyprus N.Anastasiadis

After meeting the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis, who is visiting Athens, the General Secretary of KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas made the following statements:

“We expressed our big concern and, at the same time, our opposition to a dichotomous, confederal solution in the Cyprus Issue which will not unify but instead will divide the Cypriot people.
At the same time, we expressed the steady positions of the KKE for a just and viable solution in the Cyprus Issue, for a unified state, which means one and not two states, a common country of Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, without foreign military bases, neither British nor others, without guarantors and protectors, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, a single international personality, that actually means one state.

And from this point of view we expressed our solidarity to the Cypriot people in their just but difficult struggle they give this period, in order to become finally and actually the masters in their own place. 

Source: / Transl: In Defense of Communism.