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Cyprus, united, independent, with its people sovereign
Interview of T. Pafilis Member of the CC of the KKE, and parliamentary representative of the party to the MEGAONE news outlet in Cyprus
1. Is the KKE not concerned about the fact that its decision could negatively affect AKEL, with which it has special relations, and indeed in a period where the process of the resolution of the Cyprus Issue, which is also supported by AKEL, is being called into issue by various sides?
The stance of the KKE is rooted in its deep internationalist solidarity with the working class and popular strata of Cyprus, the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins, and is opposed to the monopoly interests that are promoting a new dichotomous plan so that they can gain control of the natural resources without any impediments. The leadership of AKEL has made its choices and its agreement with the framework of the government and President, a framework supported by the USA and the EU and especially Britain, is mistaken, without prospects and is leading the Cypriot people into great hazards.
2. AKEL, despite the fact that it does not overlook the struggles of the KKE, as it mentions in its statement, nevertheless makes it clear to the Communist Party of Greece that "how the future of Cyprus will be shaped is a matter of the Cypriots and they are the ones who will ultimately decide."
a) Don't you think that in such a crucial phase of the process, your policy of "revision" could possibly act like dynamite in this situation?
b) Do you understand the very clear message that AKEL is sending you?
The people of Cyprus have the first say, which, just as in 2004, must reject the new dichotomous solution, but the problem is more complex. I should remind you that then, in 2004, the KKE was the only party in the Greek parliament that organized mobilizations against the "Annan Plan" and due to the pressure exerted by it a joint statement in favour of the plan was prevented at the meeting of the party leaders called then by the President of the republic in Greece.
However, it is apparent that the Cyprus Issue, from the moment that it is an international problem of invasion and occupation, is of interest to other peoples as well. Any development will also create faits accomplis for other peoples. In addition, as is well-known to you, various "solutions", such as e.g. the one described in the Annan Plan, are not only unjust and non-viable, but entangle the peoples of Greece and Turkey in major hazards.
The basic axis of the KKE's positions remains in place and is enriched, decisively highlighting the position for one and not two states.
The stance of the KKE reinforces the struggle of the Cypriot people for a Cyprus that is unified and independent.
3. Do you consider that your new political position can be accepted by the Turkish-Cypriots so that the process can move forwards?
It clearly can also be accepted by the Turkish-Cypriot workers. As you are aware, the Communist Party of Greece closely follows the developments and takes its positions in a responsible way after studying the Cyprus Problem. The KKE has not even for one moment forgotten to underline that the Cyprus problem is an international problem of the invasion and occupation of the northern section of Cyprus by Turkey. It is marked by the intervention of NATO and the more general imperialist plans of the region. It bears the mark if the bourgeois classes of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, the nationalists, the capitalist system itself, which causes the imperialist wars. We have not retreated even one inch from the position for a united Cyprus, independent, with one single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, without foreign bases and armies, without foreign guarantors and protectors, with the people sovereign and masters in their own land. Others have retreated and have been searching for many years for a solution inside the EU, to constituent states and with the alleged "friendly contribution" of the USA and Israel.
We, as the KKE, have a comprehensive view about what is in the people's interests today. We believe that the way out is to be found in the struggle against the exploitative system, for workers'-people's power and the socialization of their wealth, for disengagement from the imperialist organizations, from the EU and NATO, for the formation of conditions for international relations that will be based on mutual benefit. This is something that concerns every country and Cyprus and its people, and clearly the Turkish-Cypriots. This is related as a whole to the joint coordinated struggle of the working class and popular strata in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and of other peoples in the region.
Now if you characterize the abandonment of the Bizonal Bicommunal Federation as a "new political position", we should note that for the last two years we have stopped referring to it. I.e. from the moment when it became very clear that this term is being used as an alibi for a new dichotomous plan for two states, for "ghettoization". The KKE, which was stably in favour of a unified Cyprus (one state not two), which consistently struggles against nationalism, has no option but to take a position against "bizonality" and two "constituent states", which recycle the division of the people on an ethnic, linguistic, religious basis, and to express the necessity for the unified organization and joint struggle of the working class and popular strata of Cyprus, of Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, Armenians, Latins and Maronites, against the bourgeois class, against the EU and NATO.
4. Do you consider what you propose to be possible in relation to the completion of the process of the resolution of the Cyprus Issue and the reunification of Cyprus and its people, especially if one takes into account the facts of the increased flows of settlers, the alteration of the population, the isolation and continuously increasing dependency of the Turkish-Cypriots, as well as the occupied areas, on Turkey and the fait accomplis that is being created on Cyprus' territory?
As dangerous as the fostering of a false euphoria is, i.e. that allegedly there exist conditions which will lead to a just solution for the Cyprus Issue, it is just as dangerous for the people to submit miserably to the current negative correlation of forces. The correlation of forces, however, can change and this can only happen if the peoples struggle, on the basis of their common class interests, if they come into conflict with the monopolies and capitalism. Submission to the negative correlation of forces leads to a stance that says "Kill me, Aga, and make me a saint."[i]
5. Do you disagree with AKEL's conviction that "the abandonment of bizonal, bicommunal federation does not lead to a unitary state, but to partition which is catastrophic for Cyprus"? If yes, then what is the alternative?
In the decision of the CC of the KKE it is highlighted how the Bicommunal-Bizonal Federation was formed over time, which today is being promoted as the "heart" of the solution of the Cyprus problem. It is stressed that in the 1960s, the Turkish bourgeoisie in a methodical and planned way attempted to create a fait accomplis for the creation of two states, utilizing the problems of the Zurich-London agreements, the position for the union of Cyprus with Greece, the activity of nationalist forces from both sides, and even more so the coup that was organized in Cyprus, under the responsibility of the military junta in Greece. It notes how the method of forming enclaves was used and that Turkish-Cypriots were moved to specific areas in order to form a territorial Turkish-Cypriot zone, while the Turkish aims were completed with the invasion and occupation, with "Attila 1" and "Attila 2", in July and August 1974 respectively. After the invasion, the Turkish state worked systematically to impose the position for a Bicommunal-Bizonal Federation and to achieve for this position-as a compromise-to be included in the materials of the talks, as a basis on its part for a dichotomous, confederal solution, two states. In 1983, the "Turkish Republic of North Cyprus" was declared and the false state was utilized once again to create a fait accomplis. What has been demonstrated then? That in practice, a tactical position, a "final compromise" of the Greek Cypriot side, which led to the position for a Bicommunal-Bizonal Federation, was later transformed into a position of principle and foundation for the solution of the Cyprus Issue and is today being utilized to legitimize the invasion and occupation, through the creation of two constituent states. Life itself demonstrates how damaging this position is that leads to the division of the people of Cyprus, and to complications for the peoples of Greece, Turkey and the wider region. The dichotomous solution must be abandoned in the interests of the peoples and at the expense of the plans of the USA, EU, the bourgeois classes and the monopolies.
6. Are you not concerned about the fact that your position could possibly be exploited, as according to AKEL "Some circles and forces in Cyprus who up until a short time ago were insulting the KKE on a daily basis have now belatedly become fond of it because of the change in its position on the Cyprus problem"?
The KKE has a history of 100 years; it did not enter politics yesterday. It has a long history, with harsh and bloody struggles, which it continues today in the contemporary conditions, with the development of the class struggle, the people's interests, the construction of a society without the exploitation of man by man, socialism-communism as its "compass». We oppose the participation of Communist Parties in bourgeois governments, in the management of the barbarity of capitalism and we struggle for its overthrow. Now, if some people state that "they love the KKE" but support capitalism, the EU and NATO, which the KKE fights against, it is obvious that they are doing so for their own reasons. And this also applies to those who state that they have the KKE "will forever be deeply rooted in our hearts", but supported SYRIZA and its government, which implements the most barbaric and anti-people political line that Greece has seen in recent years.
We have confidence in the peoples, in their political criterion, their experience, which in the end "will put every rogue in their rightful place" and will sort "the wheat from the chaff".
[i] A traditional Greek saying that means someone accepts their own murder passively without any resistance.