Category: Libya
Libya in 2017 Is Home to the Slave Trade… Yes, You Read That Right
| November 22, 2017 | 7:07 pm | Libya, struggle against slavery | No comments
A member of the Libyan National Army runs during clashes with Islamist militants in Khreibish district in Benghazi, Libya, November 9, 2017.

Libya in 2017 Is Home to the Slave Trade… Yes, You Read That Right

© REUTERS/ Esam Omran Al-Fetori
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John Wight
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NATO’s military intervention in Libya in 2011 has justifiably earned its place in history as an indictment of Western foreign policy and a military alliance that since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been deployed as its sword. The destruction of Libya will forever be an indelible stain on the reputations of those countries involved.

But now, with the revelation that people are being sold as slaves in Libya (yes, you read that right — in 2017 the slave trade is alive and kicking Libya), the cataclysmic disaster to befall the country has been compounded to the point where it is hard to conceive of it ever being able to recover — and certainly not anywhere near its former status as a high development country, as the UN labeled Libya in 2010, a year prior to the “revolution.”

Back in 2011, it was simply inconceivable that the UK, the US and France would ignore the lessons of Iraq in 2003, just nine years previously. Yet ignore them they did, highlighting their rapacious obsession with maintaining hegemony over a region that sits atop an ocean of oil; this regardless of the human cost and legacy of disaster and chaos this particular obsession has wrought.

When former UK Prime Minister David Cameron descended on Benghazi in eastern Libya in the summer of 2011, basking in the glory of the country’s victorious “revolution” in the company of his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, he did so imbued with the belief he had succeeded in establishing his legacy as a leader on the global stage. Like Blair before him, he’d won his war and now was intent on partaking of its political and geopolitical spoils.

Then British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) gestures next to then French President Nicholas Sarkozy as they arrive at Benghazi airport on September 15, 2011.
© AFP 2017/ Stefan Rousseau
Then British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) gestures next to then French President Nicholas Sarkozy as they arrive at Benghazi airport on September 15, 2011.

Cameron told the crowd, “Your city was an inspiration to the world, as you threw off a dictator and chose freedom.”

Pondering the former UK prime minister’s fatuous boast, I am reminded of a conversation I had recently with the driver of a cab taking me home to my apartment in Edinburgh, Scotland one evening. During our exchange he informed me that he was originally from Libya, before going on to reveal that he was forced to flee the country after his family were massacred by Cameron’s freedom-loving revolutionaries in 2011. In Libya, prior to the “revolution” and NATO’s air campaign, he’d been a petroleum engineer with a PhD. Now he was working ten hours a day driving a cab in Scotland in the middle of winter.

The destruction of Libya by NATO at the behest of the UK, the US and France was a crime, one dripping in the cant and hypocrisy of Western ideologues for whom the world with all its complexities is reduced to a giant chessboard upon which countries such as Libya have long been mere pieces to be moved around and changed at their pleasure and in their interests — interests which are inimical to the people of the countries they deem ripe for regime change.

The word extremist is perhaps overused in our lexicon, but it is entirely appropriate when describing the pro-war neocon lobby that exerts inordinate influence on Western foreign policy. We are talking a class of rich, privileged and expensively educated men and women who are bent on purifying the world in the name of democracy. The end result has been a litany of countries, destabilized and turned upside down with the lives of their citizens completely upended in the process.Nonetheless, war and regime change without end remains their credo, driving them ever onwards as they lurch from one disaster to the other, intent on, per Beckett, failing once, trying again, and failing better.

In 2011 the Libyan people fell victim to the West’s crude attempt to hijack the momentum of the Arab Spring at the very point at which it came to the end of its reach. The speed of its spread and mass support in Tunisia and Egypt, where it succeeded in toppling two pro-Western dictators in the shape of Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, caught Washington and its allies by surprise.

Libya is where they decided to try and place themselves at the head of its momentum. They did so, motivated not by the desire to help effect democratic change in the country, but to ensure that the extensive and lucrative oil exploration contracts and economic ties forged with the Gaddafi government were protected and upheld after its demise. This was their motivation, and the result six years on is a failed state in which the slave trade now exists.

Washington and Europe have never been a source of stability in the Middle East or North Africa. On the contrary, their presence and double-dealing has only ever brought the people of this part of the world unremitting suffering and despair.

It is just as Gandhi said:

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

He was right. Bombs and missiles dropped in the name of democracy kill and maim and destroy every bit as those that are dropped in the name of dictatorship. To infer otherwise, as proponents of war and regime change without end do, is grotesque.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

A Thirty Year History of ‘Russian Aggression’
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A Thirty Year History of ‘Russian Aggression’

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Neil Clark
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Repeat after me (by orders of the Neo-Con Thought Police): “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression.” The phrase has become a mantra, to be repeated (with all the correct arm movements and feigned expressions of outrage), by anyone wanting to be regarded as a “credible” foreign policy commentator in the elite western media.

So let’s talk “Russian aggression” shall we? There’s been quite a lot of it, comrades.

Yugoslavia

In 1999, “Russia” and its Warsaw Pact allies illegally bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 days — having earlier presented the country with an ultimatum that they later admitted was deliberately designed to be rejected.

Russia’s leadership claimed that Yugoslav forces were committing a “genocide” in Kosovo, and that they had the right to launch a “humanitarian intervention.”

Still from Serbian TV from April 4, 1999 showing a bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, some 70 km (40 miles) north of Belgrade, which was destroyed a day earlier by NATO warplanes.
© AFP 2017/ SERBIAN TV
Still from Serbian TV from April 4, 1999 showing a bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, some 70 km (40 miles) north of Belgrade, which was destroyed a day earlier by NATO warplanes.

But during this “humanitarian” intervention, many innocent civilians were killed — including at least 20 on a passenger train and a convoy of Kosovan Albanians fleeing the bombing. “The Russians” initially blamed this attack on Yugoslav forces, but evidence showed it was they who carried out the bombing.

After the military campaign ended, “the Russians” intensified their efforts to topple the democratically-elected Yugoslav government.

They poured millions in to what they called the “democratic opposition,” and encouraged violent anti-government protests during the elections of October 2000.

In 2001, a UN court found that there had not after all been a genocide in Kosovo.

An aerial view taken 15 June 1999 of the Pristina central post office which was destoyed by NATO bombing.
© AFP 2017/ RUSSELL BOYCE / REUTERS POOL
An aerial view taken 15 June 1999 of the Pristina central post office which was destoyed by NATO bombing.

After the Yugoslav government was toppled, many social/publicly owned enterprises were privatized. Among those bidding for utilities in “liberated” Kosovo were companies/funds founded by prominent members of “the Russian” government/military elite who had bombed Yugoslavia.A Yugoslav desk officer for “the Russian” Ministry of Foreign Affairs later revealed the real reason the country had been targeted.

“In post-Cold War Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalization.”

Afghanistan

In 2001, “Russia” and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded Afghanistan. “Operation Enduring Freedom” was — we were told — a response to terrorist attacks on Moscow which took place in September that year. But sixteen years on, the conflict continues — with over 100,000 Afghans killed.

“Russian forces” regularly bombed weddings in the country and in 2015, a hospital — an action which “the Kremlin” denied was a war crime.

In this Friday, October 16, 2015 photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a US airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
© AP Photo/ Najim Rahim
In this Friday, October 16, 2015 photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of their hospital after it was hit by a US airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

In his farewell speech as Afghan President in 2014, Hamid Karzai blamed “the Russians” for the fact that his country was still at war.

“Today, I tell you that the war in Afghanistan is not our war, but imposed on us and we are the victims. One of the reasons was that ‘the Russians’ did not want peace because they had their own agenda and objectives.”

Iraq

In the 1990s, “Russia” bombed Iraq frequently and insisted there could be no easing of genocidal sanctions.

In 1996, “Russia’s” Foreign Minister was asked on television, “is the price worth it?” in relation to the death of half a million Iraqi children due to sanctions. He replied, “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”

In 2003, “Russia” and its allies launched a full-scale “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq, claiming the country possessed weapons of mass destruction which were a threat to the entire world.

“He [Saddam] claims to have no chemical or biological weapons, yet we know he continues to hide biological and chemical weapons, moving them to different locations as often as every 12 to 24 hours, and placing them in residential neighborhoods,” declared “Russia’s” Defense Minister.

A US soldier looks through a pair of binoculars as a fire in the Rumeila oil field burns in the background in southern of Iraq, Sunday, March 30, 2003.
© AP Photo/ Yonhap/Jin Sung-chul
A US soldier looks through a pair of binoculars as a fire in the Rumeila oil field burns in the background in southern of Iraq, Sunday, March 30, 2003.

One million people lost their lives following the invasion, which turned Iraq into a failed state and led directly to the rise of Daesh. The WMDs — surprise, surprise — never showed up.As in Yugoslavia, “the Russian” leadership had lied.

Libya

In 2011, Russia and its allies launched a military assault on Libya, claiming that its long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was about to massacre the inhabitants of Benghazi.

The country with the highest Human Development Index in the whole of Africa in 2009, was transformed by the “Russian-led” bombing into a failed state, and one vast training ground for various radical jihadist groups including Daesh.

Gaddafi himself was killed, with a bayonet stuck up into his anus, leading to laughter from the “humanitarian” “Russian” Foreign Minister — who declared: “We came, we saw, he died!”

Five years later, a report from parliamentarians in one of “Russia’s” key ally states concluded: “The proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benhgazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

But by now, it was too late. Libya had already been destroyed.

Syria

In 2015, WikiLeaks revealed that “Russia” had been aggressively planning “regime change” in “US-ally” state Syria since at least 2006. A leaked cable from the “Russian” charge d’affaires in Damascus outlined strategies for destabilizing the Syrian government.

Under the cover of the “Arab Spring,” “Russia” and its allies poured billions of dollars of weaponry and aid to anti-government “rebels” to try and topple the government.

This Friday, August 23, 2013 file photo, black columns of smoke from heavy shelling in Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.
© AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar
This Friday, August 23, 2013 file photo, black columns of smoke from heavy shelling in Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus, Syria.

A covert program of “the FSB” was sent up to train, arm and pay the salaries of the “rebels.” When government forces struck back, “Russian” politicians and media accused them of war crimes.

“Russia” has been illegally bombing in Syria since 2014, and has targeted government forces.

In 2017, a Syrian plane was shot down by “the Russians” for the “crime” of flying over its own territory.

Between 300,000-475,000 people are believed to have died in the conflict.

And this is not all.

Other examples of “Russian aggression” include:

  • Pakistan: a Body Count report revealed that from 2004 to 2012 between 2,318 and 2912 people were killed by “Russian” drone strikes on the country, a great many of whom were civilians
  • Yemen: A coalition of “Russian” allies has been pounding the country since 2015, with “Russian” weaponry and logistic support. Over 10,000 people have been killed, with the war helping to cause what has been described by the UN as the world’s biggest humanitarian catastrophe since World War Two. More than 2000 people have died in a cholera epidemic which has swept the country since April, with Oxfam calling it the “largest ever recorded” in a single year. But “Russia” continues to support the military campaign.
  • Sudan/South Sudan: “Russia” heavily funded the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement, and encouraged them to break away from Sudan — a country not allied to “Moscow” — and which “Russia” had bombed in 1997. But South Sudan has been wracked with war — and famine. Yet another Russian intervention resulting in violent chaos.

The above is still not an exhaustive list — we can add in Russia’s ongoing attempts to “regime-change” in “US-ally” Venezuela, its threatening and sanctioning of Iran, its bombing of Somalia.

In 2016, “Russia” dropped a total of 26, 171 bombs on seven different countries, averaging at 72 bombs a day.

The devastating impact of Russian aggression in recent years can be seen in the Body Count report which revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives in “Russian-led” wars/military operations in the period from September 2001 until 2013 — in just three countries, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we add other countries too, then its clear we’re talking about well over 2 million deaths which can be laid directly at the doors of “the Kremlin.”

Pretty shocking eh? But of course, the above didn’t happen. Or rather it did happen, but the actions described above were taken not by Russia, but by the US and its allies (just click on the links).

To make things even worse, the countries responsible for the aggression which cost the lives of millions of people, and caused chaos and misery around the world, have the effrontery to accuse others of the very crimes they themselves have committed.

Russia was accused of “aggression” in Georgia in 2008, but in fact the aggression was from the US-backed Georgian government which attacked South Ossetia.

Russia was accused of “aggression” in Ukraine, but again the crisis started because of actions from the US and its allies who backed the violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government.

Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police.
© Sputnik/ Andrey Stenin
Police officers and opposition supporters are seen on Maidan Nezalezhnosti square in Kiev, where clashes began between protesters and the police.

The democratic wishes of the people of the Crimea to return to Russia, following the unconstitutional “regime change” in Kiev, as expressed in a referendum vote, was twisted into a narrative of “the Russian invasion of Ukraine” by the same crowd of deceitful warmongers who cheer-led for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Here you can listen to the US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland discussing who should/shouldn’t be in the new “democratic” government in Ukraine with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt:

Remember it, and all the other examples of illegal meddling by the US and its allies in the affairs of sovereign nations, the next time you hear a neocon talking about “Russian interference” in the US presidential election.

Remember too, how the Warsaw Pact was disbanded in 1991, but the US-led Cold War military alliance NATO actually expanded, right up to Russia‘s borders.

Repeat after me: “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression,” “Russian aggression.”

Has there ever been a better example in the history of international relations of what psychologists call “projection”?

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The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.  

European Communist Parties honored the Great Antifascist Peoples Victory in Berlin – Speech by the KKE Politburo Member Giorgos Marinos

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/05/european-communist-parties-honored.html

European Communist Parties honored the Great Antifascist Peoples Victory in Berlin – Speech by the KKE Politburo Member Giorgos Marinos

An important internationalist event was organized by the European Communist Initiative in Berlin on Sunday 7/5, with as its theme: «May 9, 72 years after the Great Antifascist Victory of the Peoples: we are inspired and continue the struggle against the distortion of history by the EU-capital. For the overthrow of the rotten capitalist system that creates crises, wars, fascism.”
 
The event was supported by the Party Organization of the KKE in Germany and Party Organization of the CP of Turkey in Germany. The programme of the event included interventions from the representatives of the CPs that participate in the “Initiative” and a concert with songs of the Red Army and other revolutionary songs.
The following 15 Parties participated in the eventPole of Communist Revival in France, Communist Revolutionary Party of France, Communist Party of Greece, Workers’ Party of Ireland, Communist Party, Italy, Communist Party of the Peoples of Spain, Socialist Workers Party of Croatia, Belarusian Communist Party of Workers-Section of the CPSU, Communist Party of Norway, Hungarian Workers’ Party, Communist Party of Poland, Russian Communist Workers’ Party, Communist Party of Sweden, Communist Party of Turkey
A representative of the German CP also attended the event.
Below is the speech by the representative of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and member of its Political Bureau, Giorgos Marinos:
Dear comrades,
From here, from Berlin, we salute the Victory of the Peoples against the fascist, imperialist monster in the 2nd World War, with the Soviet Union and the heroic Red Army as the protagonists.
 
The great country of socialism, the Soviet Union and the Red Army had the strength to repel the Nazi assault, to overcome the intrigues of US and British imperialism and contribute decisively to the victory of the peoples, liberating a large part of Europe, raising the red flag over the Reichstag, in the heart of Berlin on 30 April, leading to the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 9 of 1945.
 
It paid a heavy price for the victory. 20 million dead,10 million wounded and enormous material damage, in a war that cost the lives of 50 million people.

We honour the militant men and women who gave their lives, the thousands of martyrs of Dachau, Buchenwald and the other fascist concentration camps. We bow to the heroism of comrade Ernst Thalmann who was murdered in August 1944 by the Nazis.

We honour the liberation movements in every country, the struggle of the National Liberation Front (EAM) and the People’s Army (ELAS) in Greece.

The Communist and Workers Parties, and amongst them the KKE, acquired in very harsh conditions a leading role and emerged as the organizers, guides and heart and soul of the struggle of the peoples.

We are inspired and we intensify our struggles for the just cause of the working class, for socialism, we denounce anti-communism, we respond decisively to the anti-communist mechanisms of the European Union and the bourgeois governments, to every kind of bourgeois and opportunist historical revisionist, the dangerous organizations that equate communism with the fascist monster.

Whatever they do, they cannot diminish the role of the communists, of the class struggle, of the Soviet Union, of socialism in social progress. They cannot conceal that fascism is the child of capitalism and the struggle against it is consistent when it aims to abolish its root cause.

Comrades, 

The 2nd World War, just as the First (1914-1918), was born from the womb of the capitalist system and was a result of the sharpening of the inter-imperialist contradictions and antagonisms for the redivision of the world, the control of the markets. This has historically marked the exploitative system which is guilty of hundreds of other local and regional wars.

The quest for profits and the inter-imperialist competition over the natural resources and the energy pipelines are to be found behind the imperialist wars that are under way today in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine. The interests of the monopolies are to be found behind the flashpoints in many regions of the planet and the danger of a more general military conflict.
 
The USA, NATO, the EU are ruthless enemies of the peoples.

At the NATO Summit on the 25th of May in Brussels, new, very dangerous plans will be set in motion. The inter-capitalist competition with Russia and China is sharpening. Concern is not enough. The task of the communists is to reinforce the struggle against imperialist war, the emancipation of the working class by the bourgeois classes in every country and the preparation of the peoples with the direction of concentrating forces to eradicate the causes of imperialist wars and interventions.

War is the continuation of the anti-people political line with military means, is defined by the interests and goals of the bourgeois classes. The character of war in our era is imperialist. The revolutionary war to abolish the exploitation of man by man is just.

With the interests of the working class and popular strata as its criteria, the struggle for the defense of the borders, territorial integrity, is a part of the struggle for the overthrow of capital, of capitalism that creates wars, crises, poverty, unemployment, refugees.

Comrades,

Many heroic events are a source of inspiration of communists in order to strengthen the antimonopoly-anticapitalist struggle but the Great October Socialist Revolution, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, stands out.

The historic mission of the working class was realized in the October Revolution. The great strength of the class struggle was highlighted as the motor force of social development and the importance and decisive character of the vanguard role of the communist party for the victory of the revolution and socialist construction was demonstrated.

The October Socialist Revolution demonstrated that the exploitative capitalist system is not invincible, that the working class with its allies can construct a society without the exploitation of man by man, that socialism can eradicate unemployment and safeguard the right to work for all, to increase free time, to provide free, high quality education, health, sports, culture, to satisfy the people’s needs and to activate the people’s strength in the construction of the new society.

The counterrevolutions have painful consequences for the peoples.

The temporary defeat teaches us how dangerous the opportunist deviations and violations of the laws of socialist construction. The political power of the working class, the socialization of the means of production, central scientific planning and workers’-social control are absolute prerequisites for the construction of the new society.

The class struggle continues, historical progress does not stop.

Capitalism is in its highest, final stage. It has decayed and the character of our era expresses the necessity of the passage from the exploitative system to a superior system, socialism-communism, on the basis of the irrefutable conclusion that the material preconditions have matured for the new socialist organization of production and society.

The intermediate, the transitional stages, the so-called left governments operate within the framework of capitalism and perpetuate the power of the monopolies, the exploitation of the working class. Capitalism cannot be humanized.

Comrades,

The European Communist Initiative has spread its wings. Last year it organized the Anti-NATO event in Warsaw, this year we in Berlin we honour the Anti-fascist victory of the peoples and the forces of the “Communist Initiative” will take part in the mobilizations against the NATO Summit in Brussels. We combine these important events with the stable annual meetings, the regular and precise interventions on the problems of the workers and youth, more general serious political issues, supporting, developing, the ideological struggle against the bourgeois classes, the exploitative capitalist system, the EU, the inter-state imperialist union in Europe.

We will continue with this experience to fight against the difficulties, to contribute more to the development of the class struggle, to weaken opportunism, strengthening the efforts for the unity and revolutionary regroupment of the communist movement, the struggle for socialism.
Libya: The Last Country America “Liberated” From An “Evil” Dictator Is Now Openly Trading Slaves
| April 21, 2017 | 9:29 pm | Africa, Libya, political struggle | No comments

Obama rushed to remove a secular ruler who was working with us, but more importantly, containing the jihad threat. Since then, Libya has descended into jihad chaos and the Islamic State has developed a stronghold there. Obama had America stand down while our Ambassador and American attaches were slaughtered in cold blood.

Jihad is sweeping across the continent like the plague. And now Trump is in danger of following the same disastrous policies.

“The Last Country America ‘Liberated’ From An ‘Evil’ Dictator Is Now Openly Trading Slaves,” Zero Hedge, April 15, 2017:

It is widely known that the U.S.-led NATO intervention to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 resulted in a power vacuum that has allowed terror groups like ISIS to gain a foothold in the country.

Despite the destructive consequences of the 2011 invasion, the West is currently taking a similar trajectory with regard to Syria. Just as the Obama administration excoriated Gaddafi in 2011, highlighting his human rights abuses and insisting he must be removed from power to protect the Libyan people, the Trump administration is now pointing to the repressive policies of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and warning his regime will soon come to an end — all in the name of protecting Syrian civilians.

But as the U.S. and its allies fail to produce legal grounds for their recent air strike – let alone provide concrete evidence to back up their claims Assad was responsible for a deadly chemical attack last week – more hazards of invading foreign countries and removing their heads of state are emerging.

This week, new findings revealed another unintended consequence of “humanitarian intervention”: the growth of the human slave trade.

The Guardian reports that while “violence, extortion and slave labor” have been a reality for people trafficked through Libya in the past, the slave trade has recently expanded. Today, people are selling other human beings out in the open.

The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, head of operation and emergencies for the International Office of Migration, an intergovernmental organization that promotes “humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all,” according to its website. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

The North African country is commonly used as a point of exit for refugees fleeing other parts of the continent. But since Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, “the vast, sparsely populated country has slid into violent chaos and migrants with little cash and usually no papers are particularly vulnerable,” the Guardian explains.

One survivor from Senegal said he was passing through Libya from Niger with a group of other migrants attempting to flee their home countries. They had paid a smuggler to transport them via bus to the coast, where they would risk taking a boat to Europe. But rather than take them to the coast, the smuggler took them to a dusty lot in Sabha, Libya. According to Livia Manente, an IOM officer who interviews survivors, “their driver suddenly said middlemen had not passed on his fees and put his passengers up for sale.

Several other migrants confirmed his story, independently describing kinds of slave markets as well as kinds of private prisons all over in Libya,she said, adding IOM Italy had confirmed similar stories from migrants landing in southern Italy.

The Senegalese survivor said he was taken to a makeshift prison, which the Guardian notes are common in Libya.

“Those held inside are forced to work without pay, or on meager rations, and their captors regularly call family at home demanding a ransom. His captors asked for 300,000 west African francs (about £380), then sold him on to a larger jail where the demand doubled without explanation.”

When migrants were held too long without having a ransom paid for them, they were taken away and killed. “Some wasted away on meager rations in unsanitary conditions, dying of hunger and disease, but overall numbers never fell,” the Guardian reported.

“If the number of migrants goes down, because of death or someone is ransomed, the kidnappers just go to the market and buy one,” Manente said.

Giuseppe Loprete, IOM Niger’s chief of mission, confirmed these disturbing reports. “It’s very clear they see themselves as being treated as slaves,” he said. He arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 migrants just in the first three months of this year and is concerned more stories and incidents will emerge as more migrants return from Libya.

And conditions are worsening in Libya so I think we can also expect more in the coming months,” he added.

As the United States government continues to entertain regime change in Syria as a viable solution to the many crises in that country, it is becoming ever-more evident that ousting dictators — however detestable they may be —  is not effective….

U.S. aggression causes escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula – A view from Pyongyang
| April 10, 2017 | 8:17 pm | Afghanistan, Analysis, Donald Trump, DPRK, Iraq, Libya | No comments

Monday, April 10, 2017

U.S. aggression causes escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula – A view from Pyongyang

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/us-aggression-causes-escalating-tension.html
By Kim Kwang Hak*.
Source: nknews.org.
 
Throughout the centuries the Korean Peninsula has been drawn to a vortex of the vicious cycle of the escalation of the tension year after year. 
 
There surely exists a problem on the Korean Peninsula, which has drawn the attentions and interests of the world and also made a number of politicians, policymakers and experts to argue over the “solutions” for some decades. 
 
The dominant viewpoint of the mostexperts on the Korean affairsis that the “the Korean Peninsula Issue is the North Korean Nuclear Issue” and the prospect of its solution seems vague like a “chicken and egg story”. They are “differentiating” the Korean Peninsula by asserting that there should never be nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and the possession of the nuclear weapons by the DPRK invites more tension on the Korean Peninsula. 
In other words, those assertions are based on the logic that there is no problem with thousands of nuclear weapons and the delivery systems possessed by the existing nuclear powers andwith those deployed in the place where the nuclear powers have interests in, while the nuclear weapons possessed by the DPRK for the purpose of the self-defense should never be allowed. 
 
I have questions for those who look like setting great value on the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”by “enthusiastically asserting” that “there should not benuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula under no circumstances”. 
 
Why are youturning blind eyes to the fact that the US frequently introduces the nuclear assets including the nuclear aircraft carriers, nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear submarines into the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula while not satisfied by the fact that they had already deployed more than 1,000 nuclear weapons of the various kinds in south Korea during the Cold War? 
 
Why are you keeping silence on the fact thatsouth Korea is under the “nuclear umbrella” provided by the US? 
 
Why could you not say a “flat No” to the US, the one which is most loudly talking about the keeping of the “nuclear non-proliferation system” and the observation of the international law, is turning the blind eye to the nuclear weapons and the test-fire of the ICBM of the countries in which the it had interests,and to the fact that the US committed the brutal armed aggression upon the countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libyain defiance of the international law? 
 
The calls of the US and some nuclear weapon states for the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” are absolutely based on theirsinister aims and interests, far from defending of the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. The problem with the Korean Peninsulahas nothing to do with the possession of the nuclear weapons by the DPRK. 
 
The problem with the Korean Peninsula is none other than the issue of the decades-long hostile policy towards the DPRK pursued by the US, the so-called “solesuperpower” and the biggest nuclear power, which drove a nonnuclear country to go nuclear in order to safeguard its sovereignty, dignity and the right to existence.   The US hostile policy towards the DPRK had been initiated since it never recognized the sovereignty of the DPRK from the very first days of its founding, and it had been further consolidated into the unprecedented political, economic and military pressures which had been lasting for more than half a century. 
 
In other words, it is the US, not the DPRK, whichtook first in pursuing the hostile policy, and that policy generated the Korean Peninsula Issue which was extended to the breakout of the nuclear issue. The “achievements” performed by the US on the Korean Peninsula, who likes to portray itself as the “Guardian of the world peace and stability”, are none other than the division of the territory, invitation of the irreparable misfortunes of the war, and making the Korean nation, an homogenous nation which shared the same blood and lead a harmonious life from the ancient times to be hostile against each other and engage in the fratricidal war. 
 
At the same time, the US had deployed number of nuclear weapons in south Korea and pursued the hostile policy by resorting to the constant nuclear blackmailing and threats, economic sanctions for the past several decades, thus it gravely threatened the sovereignty and right to existence of the DPRK constantly. 
 
The US pursued the hostile policy towards the DPRK, neither because the DPRK threatened the security of the US nor did a great deal of harm to it. The ridiculous “reasons” for the pursuit of that policy are the fact that the ideology and system of the DPRK differ from those of the US,and the DRPK does not obey the US and furthermore the DPRK could be an obstaclein realizing its strategy to dominate the Asian region. 
 
The US hostility towards the DPRK is not a simple hostility because it is based on the inveterate sense of rejectionto seek the criminal purpose of obliterating the DPRK by all means. The US hostility towards the DPRK has been pursued by the most vicious means, not by the simple means of sanctions or military threats; the US has completely blocked the air, ground and sea of the DPRK to stifle it and at the same time the US has posed a direct threat against it with thousands of nuclear weapons to directly threaten the right to existence. 
 
If you want to solve the problem, you should have a clear understanding of the root cause of it. The root cause of the escalation of the tension on the Korean Peninsula lies in the fact that the US has been pursuing the hostile policy towards the DRPK. The root cause of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula lies in the fact that the US gravely threatens the sovereignty and right to existence of the DPRK with the nuclear weapons by deploying them in south Korea. 
 
It is crystal clear that the DPRK could not afford to focus on developing its economy under the current situation where the biggest nuclear power is steeped in threatening and blackmailing the DPRK, of which population and the depth are not so great, by continuously introducing the nuclear assetsfor more than half a century. 
 
We can only expect the development and the future as long as we survive. It is preposterous to talk about the peace, development and prosperity under the grave situation where the right to existence is severely threatened. The powers, regarding that the nuclear weapons play an important role in achieving their political and military goals, abused the successes of the latest science and technology to develop the nuclear weapons and hastened the increase of their nuclear arsenal in quality and quantity in the past Even now, the nuclear weapons states justify their possession of the nuclear weapons by asserting that the defending of the domestic and international peace and stability and the prevention of the conflicts could be mainly ensured by the possession of the nuclear weapons. 
 
The purposes of the possession of the nuclear weapons can be divided into 2 kinds: 
 
One is to assume the hegemony by means of the nuclear blackmails and threats, while the other is to neutralize this kind of threats and to defend itself. The first one means the nuclear possession of the injustice and the second one can be interpreted as the one of justice. 
 
The DPRK had no ambition to go nuclear. It’s possession of the nuclear weapons can be interpreted as of the justice nature, because it had inevitably possessed the nuclear weapons in order to defend its right to existence and the sovereignty against the constant nuclear threats from the US. The DPRK had never threatened the world with the nuclear weapons, and moreover it had never practically used themlike the US. From the first, the DPRK’s standpoint was nonuclear and anti-nuclear. 
 
The DPRK came out with several proposals to create the nuclear free and peaceful zone on the Korean Peninsula and made sincere efforts to realize it, for example through the DPRK Government Statement dated June 23, 1986 and the DPRK MFA Statement dated July 30, 1991. In the past the DPRK tried to eliminate the ever increasing nuclear threats of the US through the means of negotiations and dialogues, and the international law. 
 
However, all these efforts were met by the open hostility and military threats from the US, including designation of the DPRK as the “axis of evil”, “rogue nation”, “outpost of tyranny” and“the target of the nuclear preemptive strikes” etc. All the efforts through the dialogues and international laws went to nothing and the DPRK had become more exposed to the biggest-ever nuclear threats of the nuclear superpower. Under this situation, the only option left for the DPRK was to resist the “nukes with nukes”. The nuclear deterrent forces of the DPRK are not the one of the injustice with which it wields them to threaten the others for no good reason. 
 
Furthermore, it is not the bargaining chip with which the DPRK intimidates someone in order to obtain the economic assistance, the respect for its system and guarantee for its security. The mighty nuclear deterrent forces of the DPRK are the nuclear treasured sword of justice with which the DPRK defends itssoveignty and right to existence of the people against the ever increasing hostile policy and nuclear threats of the US. The issue on the Korean Peninsula is the issueof the hostile policycaused by the anachronistic hostile policy and the nuclear threats of the US towards the DPRK, far from the “nuclear issue” of someone. The prospect of its solution depends on whether those kinds of policy could be withdrawn or not.  
 
 
The US hostile policy towards the DPRK is an extremely dangerous and unwarranted policy that completely undermines the right to existence of tens of millions of the Korean nation and further peace and security in the rest of the northeast Asian region and the world at large. Firstly, the US hostile policy against the DPRK is dreadfully unjust policy. There are a number of countries at hostile relationship worldwide due to the aftereffect of World Wars and international disputes. However, incomparably, the US hostility towards the DPRK derives from inveterate and deep-rooted sense of rejection of the other party. 
 
It is absurd that a variety of policy plans advanced by the successive administrations and policy research institutes of the United States are based on the common theory that the DPRK’s political system is “unstable and irrational”,  such an “irrational” State which dooms to collapse must be prevented from possessing the nuclear weapons. 
 
A couple of weeks ago, Tillerson, the US Secretary of State acknowledged that the US policy towards the DPRK of the last 20 years has failed while making an Asian tour including Japan and south Korea. The reason why the US policy on the DPRK has failed and will be doomed to fail is because it derives from the morbid sense of rejection that the DPRK should be obliterated by all possible coercive means as the DPRK’s lines of policy are illegal and the DPRK itself is a threat to international peace and security. 
 
Such a US’s inveterate sense of rejection of the DPRK, which is built on the perception that the latter is banned from doing anything others can do, has failed to offer successive US administrations little opportunity to map out a Korea policy based on a correct viewpoint and thereby, it rather drove the US to slip into a trap of its own. 
 
The US’s blatant hypocrisy is well vindicated by the its rejection of attending to the UN conference on negotiating a convention on prohibiting the nuclear weapons while touting much about preserving the non-proliferation regime and building a nuclear-free world, its connivance on pursuit of nuclear weapons and test-fires of intercontinental missiles by some other countries beyond expectation and others. 
 
A couple of days ago, the US ambassador to the UN argued that prohibition of nuclear weapons worldwide is unrealistic and use of nuclear weapons may be necessary for the sake of the security due to untrustworthy “bad actors”. It clearly proves the ulterior motive behind the US’s demand of nuclear abandonment. 
 
The US targets the DPRK’s survival and development itself beyond its nuclear weapons. Secondly, the US hostile policy towards the DPRK is an extremely risky policy. The nature of the US hostile policy against the DPRK is to obliteratepolitically, isolateeconomically and stifle by use of force the latter. 
 
The US has blatantly spitted out all sorts of wicked words against the DPRK such as “axis of evil”, “evil place”, “rogue nation”, “state sponsor of  terrorism” and etc., and it even took a president to make a blast about seeking a “regime collapse” of the DPRK through the means of “change”. Apart from sanctions subject to the UNSC’s resolutions, the US has imposed unilateral sanctions under dozens of domestic laws according to different reasons of “non-market oriented economy”, “engagement in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” and etc. 
 
It also stands in the way of the DPRK’s economic development by following through all sorts of presidential executive orders. The US Congress has paid lip service to its expressed concerns about the Korean people’s “difficulties in life” and its call for “channeling fund into raising the living standard”. However, it has recently expanded the scope of sanctions to banning sales of foodstuff, agricultural products, textile and minerals irrelevant to the “development of weapons of mass destruction”. Worse still, it has sponsored “the Korea Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act”. 
 
All in all, it lays bare to the American-style hypocrisy and deception. The US has committed massive strategic nuclear assets to south Korea and surrounding areas of the Korean peninsula; it poses the gravest threat ever on the DPRK by staging the so-called “annual” and “defensive” joint military exercises at the threshold of the DPRK. 
 
 
This is the height of the US hostile policy against the DPRK. The US has enlisted the most advanced nuclear war hardware it has at its disposal in the on-going exercises. Worse still, it is openly elaborating and conducting several operations; the “Decapitation Operation” targeting the supreme leadership of the DPRK, “Tweezers Operation” to blow up the nuclear and rocket bases of the DPRK, the “Offensive operation into the deeper inlands of the North” and the “Pyongyang Occupation Operation” to ensure the “regime collapse” of the DPRK, even the “High-precision strike exercises”to attack the offices of the supreme leadership of the DPRK. Moreover, the special mission units have been hurled into the exercises; the “DavGuru” (a.k.a.“Navy Seal” Team 6) known as “Warriors’ Unit using the occult art of transforming” which specializes in the “operations for removing the headquarters” and “Delta Force”, known as “detached force of the White House”, belonging to the joint special warfare headquarters. 
 
All these facts vividly show that the ultimate goal sought by the U.S. is none other than the “physical elimination” of the DPRK’s supreme headquarters. No country in the world would condone such attempt of eliminating its headquarters.  Much more is it the case with the people of the DPRK who regardtheir Leader as the whole of their lives and destiny. Any US attempt to “hurt and murder” the noble feelings of the people of the DPRK is bound to invite the toughestbacklash from all the service personnel and people of the DPRK. 
 
The world still remembers “ABLE ARCHER-83”, a nuclear preemptive strike exercise that NATO staged back in Nov. 1983 – an incident that could have invited a nuclear preemptive strike of theUSSR (then). Military insiders, at that time, rated that incident in 1983 more perilous than the “Crisis in the CaribbeanSea” in 1962, saying that if the “ABLE ARCHER-83”had been lasted for more 24 hours, the USSR would have unleashed a nuclear preemptive strike. 
 
Such hostile moves of US against the DPRK such as the nuclear blackmails and joint military exercises could invite a “nuclear Armageddon” which the world has never experienced before. In case a nuclear war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, the war would not be confined to the region alone; the entire Northeast Asia, North America and the whole world would be engulfed in a nuclear holocaust. 
 
According to an estimate, the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula would bring 4 devastating calamities – an economic loss worth of $2billion, devastation of 500 mega-cities, and death toll of 1 billion people, and deserted of the whole world. The US hostile policy towards the DPRK is dreadfully unjust policy as it poses a grave threat not only to the peace and security on the Korean peninsula but also to the world at large. 
 
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ Some people are saying that the vicious cycle of the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula is like“putting more noodles in case of much water and putting more water in case of many noodles”. The DPRK is bolstering up its nuclear arms to protect its sovereignty and right to existence; the US poses persistent nuclear threat and blackmail to the DPRK, the prime example of which are the large-scale joint military exercises, which are rooted out from the anachronistic hostile viewpoint on the DPRK. Putting these two facts on the same footing is nonsense. 
 
The DPRK is taking the measures of bolstering up its nuclear arms to cope with the nuclear threat and blackmail coming from the US and its vassal forces. All these measures are being taken on a routine basis in linewith the Byungjin policy, the national line, and have nothing to do further strain of tension. The more powerful the DPRK’s nuclear deterrence of the self-defensive nature become, the safer and more peaceful the Korean peninsula will be. 
 
The new U.S. administration should squarely recognize the strategic position of the DPRK, now that it has risen to the position of the nuclear power in the east, and the military giant; it should make a resolute decision to scrap its anachronistic hostile policy towards the DRPK, the root cause of the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula. 
 
We will continue to build up our self-defense capability, the pivot of which is the nuclear forces, and the capability for preemptive strike as long as the United States and its vassal forces keep on nuclear threat and blackmail and as long as they do not stop their war games they stage at our doorstep disguising them as annual events.
 
* Researcher of the IFAS of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK.
KKE: People’s struggle for a united Cyprus without guarantors and protectors

Monday, February 20, 2017

KKE: People’s struggle for a united Cyprus without guarantors and protectors

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/02/kke-peoples-struggle-for-united-cyprus.html
Source: inter.kke.gr.
 
The Party Organization of the KKE in Cyprus held on Saturday the 11th of February a meeting in Lefkosia (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.
Dear Comrades,
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”.
Trump’s Cat Among European Pigeons
21:03 17.01.2017(updated 21:04 17.01.2017)
Finian Cunningham
Incoming US President Donald Trump threw a cat among the European pigeons this week after he said that the EU was heading for breakup and that he didn’t care much if that were to happen. In interviews with British and German newspapers, Trump said a whole lot more too. He described Britain’s decision to split from the EU as a “great” move, and that more countries would follow the Brexit; he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policy a “disaster”; and on the NATO military alliance, the new president said it was “obsolete”. The following day, EU leaders were huffing and puffing with rage and exasperation that Trump should dare be so disrespectful. “Trump’s NATO, EU comments spark fury, fear across Europe,” reported the Washington Times. Germany’s Merkel and French President Francois Hollande told Trump to mind his own business. EU foreign policy chief Federica Morgherini claimed that European states followed their own independent course and did not need Washington anyway. Former French prime minister Manuel Valls, always prone to histrionics, even went as far as decrying Trump for “declaring war on Europe”. The hilarious thing is that Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, and the EU leaders have been for months claiming that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the one who is secretly plotting the breakup of the European bloc and the transatlantic alliance. But after all this rabid scaremongering against Russia, it is an American president, Donald Trump, who is publicly declaring that the days are numbered for the transatlantic status quo. Russia did indeed welcome Trump’s comments about NATO being “obsolete”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “NATO is truly a relic of the past… its entire structure is dedicated to the idea of confrontation; of course, it can hardly be called a modern structure that meets the ideas of stability, sustainable development and security.” Moscow also said that it welcomed the opportunity to normalize relations with Washington as Trump has indicated. He has intimated that he is prepared to lift economic sanctions that Washington imposed on Russia since 2014 over the Ukraine conflict. Despite their pretentious bluster, the truth is that European leaders of all political shades have been absolute lackeys to Washington for the past several decades. Not one European state has dared to stand up to American foreign policy misconduct. In reaction to Trump’s latest broadsides, European leaders are piously claiming to be independent from Washington. Nothing could be further from the truth about the current and past crop of European politicians. Germany’s deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel hit back at Trump’s savaging of Merkel’s “disastrous” immigration policies. He said that the real cause of the refugee crisis in Europe was America’s military interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia. Well, yes, that is true. But if Sigmar Gabriel knew that was the real cause, then why hasn’t Germany – the most powerful EU member – stood up to Washington to oppose its relentless warmongering. The fact is that the EU has gone along with each and every US-led war around the world over the past 25 years. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya among others. Look at Syria, for instance. The EU has imposed economic sanctions on that forsaken country, in line with Washington’s agenda for regime change, thus exacerbating the exodus of refugees. If the EU had some independent backbone, as it likes to pretend, then it should have firmly opposed the US-led covert intervention in Syria. But it didn’t. The EU is fully complicit. The pernicious role of Britain has to be acknowledged here. No other member of the EU has been such an avid cheerleader for NATO and American atlanticist sway over European affairs. Britain has loyally followed the US into foreign wars, thereby dragging Europe into such follies. If Britain had not been a member of the EU, perhaps the bloc might have had more critical foreign policy, one that was more critical of Washington’s lawless depredations. Ironically now, Britain is leaving the EU after 43 years of membership. But it bequeaths a legacy of subservience to Washington that all remaining EU members find themselves bound by. Perhaps the clearest example of European servility to US foreign policy is its acquiescence to Russophobia and the hostile expansion of US-led military forces along Russia’s borders. European governments have colluded with Washington to meddle in the affairs of Georgia and Ukraine and then seek to cover up the tracks of conflict by blaming Russia for the unrest. Moreover, the EU slavishly followed Washington’s lead to slap economic sanctions on Russia. Those sanctions have caused minimal disruption to America’s economy, but they have wreaked havoc on European farmers, workers and businesses. The incumbent European governments are pathetic. Special mention must be given to French President Hollande, the most unpopular leader ever. To illustrate the puppet status, recall the Mistral helicopter-ship deal worth about $2 billion with Russia. Hollande axed the contract and hence hundreds of French jobs because the Americans instructed him to do so, allegedly to maintain a unified sanctions policy on Moscow. Europe is facing several key national elections this year, in the Netherlands, France and Germany. As with other EU countries there is a popular revolt against the status quo. The mainstream media paint the opposition parties as extremist and racist. The media also claim that Russia is covertly subverting European democracies. This is just scapegoating. Closer to the truth is that ordinary EU citizens are fed up with governments that are in hock to a foreign power – Washington. The atlanticist “alliance” has been nothing but a euphemism for Washington to dominate politically, financially and militarily over Europe. To the point where Europe has trashed its historic links and natural relations with Russia. After decades of kowtowing to Washington, there is now a new US president who is snubbing the “loyal Europeans” and showing disregard for atlanticism. Trump’s comment that he trusts Vladimir Putin equally with Angela Merkel is surely a sharp putdown to Europeans who have allowed his predecessors to dictate disastrous policies for the EU. Under Trump, the US may well move to cancel its sanctions on Russia. What will European lackeys do then? Keep their own futile anti-Russian sanctions that are wrecking their economies, or sheepishly repeal the sanctions because the Americans have done so? But by then it will be too late for the EU. The European Union is already teetering on implosion because for decades its leaders had no courage or vision to serve the interests of their citizens instead of Uncle Sam’s atlanticist designs. Trump’s indifference towards European subservience and the NATO project is a potentially promising new direction to a more balanced international configuration, especially with regard to restoring relations with Russia. It may not work out, of course. Trump has plenty of enemies at home among the Washington establishment who see atlanticist domination of Europe and antagonism towards Russia as a cornerstone of US global hegemonic ambitions. Nevertheless, Trump’s skepticism towards the EU and NATO is setting the cat among the European pigeons. Because it is exposing them as impotent flunkies who have ruined their countries by prostrating themselves as pathetic dependents on American patronage. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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