CYPRUS 1946-60



But we are not responsible for what happens in South Africa? Then let us take Cyprus, where constitutional figments have long been destroyed, and open autocracy of the Colonial Office is maintained against the opposition of the entire people. In January of this year (that is, under the Labour Government) the entire leadership of the Cypriot Trade Union Congress, a partner with the British Trade Union Congress in membership of the World Federation of Trade Unions, was sentenced to imprisonment for terms of twelve to eighteen months for the crime of maintaining an "unlawful association," i.e., the Pan-Cypriot Trade Union Committee. The possession of socialist literature was declared a crime. The following exchange took place between the President of the Court and the Solicitor-General of Cyprus:—

President: Is Marxist theory a crime?

Solicitor-General: According to Cyprus law, yes.

President: Is the possession of Marxist books a crime?

Solicitor-General: Yes.

Social Democracy versus Socialism

Still more remarkable is the answer of the Colonial Office Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Creech-Jones, when an anti-imperialist Labour M.P. raised the question in March. So far from repudiating the sentences and rulings, Mr. Creech-Jones replied that the law in England is really the same:—

Mr. Solley raised the question of the imprisonment of the eighteen leaders of the Cypriot trade union movement. They were, he said, imprisoned at the end of a thirty-four days' trial after being found guilty of being members of an unlawful association. ... It was fantastic that while there was a Labour Government at Westminster socialism was a crime according to Cyprus

Mr. Creech-Jones said that the charges against the trade union leaders concerned were made under the Criminal Code in Cyprus, which was precisely similar to Ihe law in this country. The law of this country was the basis of the law in Cyprus. He regretted the rather intemperate language which Mr. Solley had used. The prosecutions were not matters for the Colonial Office whatsoever. They were matters within the jurisdiction of the administration of the local authorities. (Times, June 3, 1946.)

If the day should come when the colonial peoples place Social Democracy on trial for its crimes against the peoples of the world, let them not plead, like the Nuremburg hypocrites, that they "did not know" what was being done in their name. They knew; the questions were raised by sincere anti-imperialist members of their own party; and they defended the official outrages.

LABOUR MONTHLY; September 19, 1946.



The Cypriot people have long been aware of these dangers and that is why their demand for Enosis is coupled with the demand that no foreign power shall have the right to military bases on the island

Mr. Hopkinson quite cynically declared that: They could not contemplate a change in the sovereignty of Cyprus' and that 'certain Commonwealth territories .... could never expect to be fully independent'.

Mr. Hopkinson was ignoring the fact that British imperialism is not the first which has endeavoured to destroy the national Greek character of the Greek people of Cyprus. Neither is it the first to fail in this endeavour! For three centuries prior to the British, the Turks (and others for four centuries before them) closed down the Greek schools and suppressed the national Greek culture and did everything possible to destroy the national Greek character of the people. But on the 'fruitful' results of their efforts let an ex-governor of Cyprus, Sir Ronald Storrs, speak. In his book he wrote:

The Greekness of Cypriots is in my opinion indisputable. ... No sensible person will deny that the Cypriot is Greek-speaking, Greek-thinking, Greek-feeling, Greek {Orientations, p. 550).

These 'last ditch' measures of the Tory Government are not only an insult to the people of Cyprus but have outraged the national feelings of the whole Greek nation, which has forced the monarcho-fascist government of Greece to place the question of Cyprus before the United Nations.

But these monstrous laws, brutal as they are, have had a positive effect: they have exposed imperialism as the common enemy of all Cypriots—so that even anti-Communist Enosis supporters now recognise the correctness of the Cypriot Communists' consistent fight against British imperialism and the need for a united front against imperialism. A solid unity has been achieved embracing every political party and Greek organisation in Cyprus. For the first time, the Archbishop of Cyprus has met with the General Secretary of the People's Party of Cyprus, A.K.E.L., for discussions on the common problems and the measures to be taken to confront them

The fight of the people of Cyprus for Enosis and the ceaseless struggle of the people of Greece against the Anglo-American imperialists and their monarcho-fascist agents in Greece are one and inseparable. It should never be forgotten that the present reactionary regime in Greece was imposed upon the people of Greece by the same British imperialists who today hold Cyprus in subjection. Since the present regime in Greece owes its existence to British intervention in 1944 and U.S. dollars since 1947, it can be readily understood that Premier Papagos and his government brought the question of Cyprus before U.N.O. only as the result of intense and united pressure by the Greek people. In fact, Papagos and his crew do not want Enosis. On May 19, 1954, he made this clear in an interview with an Italian journalist when he said: that Greece did not want Enosis but a constitution for Cyprus and a promise that, after a number of years a plebiscite would be held there.

This achievement of the people of Greece has already had its effect upon the aggressive alliances of the imperialists' satellites. Only a few weeks ago Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia signed a treaty of alliance: today Turkey threatens Greece with war itself if the appeal to U.N.O. on Cyprus is proceeded with. All American subterfuge has not succeded in concealing from the Greek people that this 'great ally' not only does not support the Greek demand for Cyprus but is working night and day to prevent the question being discussed. When on September 23 the Steering Committee decided by nine votes to three with three abstentions to place the question on the agenda of this Ninth General Assembly, it was worthy of note that the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Burma, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Iceland, Siam and Syria voted in support, whilst imperialist France and Australia voted with Britain against; the U.S.A.—the 'great ally' of Greece—abstained. The other 'great ally' of monarchofascist Greece, Turkey, voted against when the General Assembly endorsed the decision by 30 to 19 with 11 abstentions. Thus the whole Greek nation can see who are their friends and who are their potential enemies. The Soviet Union and the People's Democracies are thus recognised as champions of the rights of all oppressed peoples.

There are people who ask why the Cypriots want to 'unite with a monarcho-fascist Greece' and lose the 'benefits' of British colonialism. They should remember the following. Governments come and go but the People always remain. A united people of Greece and Cyprus can fight much more effectively for the fulfilment of their aspirations than when they are divided as they are at present. For the heroic people of Greece it is not the first time that they suffer under a dictatorship like the present one. Recent history shows that during the past 34 years at least eight dictatorial regimes and reactionary kings have been routed by democratic struggle

Now the question of Cyprus has been placed before U.N.O. The Cypriots have no illusions about the hazards entailed. The people of Cyprus know that the fulfilment of their aspirations depends on the united and systematic struggle of the Cypriot and Greek people, the support of the democratic forces of the whole world and not least on the solidarity of the great labour movement in Britain. Under the glorious banner of unity, inspired by the symbol of the general strike of August 12, the Cypriot people has prevented the British colonialists from, as yet, actually operating the monstrous laws announced on August 2. The Greek people have forced the monarcho-fascists to act against their will and take the question to U.N.O. Now, at this very moment, the monarcho-fascists of Greece and the U.S. imperialists are conspiring with the British to find a 'solution' and (after putting it last on the U.N. agenda) so to betray the aspirations of the Greek nation for Enosis.

Without underestimating the great difficulties which face the Cypriots in their struggle on the road ahead, they are advancing, confident that the day of national rehabilitation cannot be delayed for long. There can be no other solution of the national and economic problems of Cyprus than the one proposed by the Cypriot people. That is, Enosis—the Union of Cyprus with Greece, without conditions, and without granting military bases to any foreign power. Any other 'solution' such as 'constitution', so-called self-government, or any other compromise with imperialism is not only dangerous and harmful to the people of Cyprus and the Greek nation as a whole, but it constitutes a threat to world peace and affects the wellbeing of the British people



There and then, the entire Greek nation saw that whilst the Soviet Union, the People's Democracies and the anti-colonial countries supported unreservedly Greece's appeal for self-determination for Cyprus, all her N.A.T.O. 'allies' (with the exception of Iceland) 'ganged up' with Britain in opposing it.

When on December 18, 1955, a huge demonstration in support of Enosis (Union of Cyprus with Greece) took place in Athens, some of the main slogans were: 'Let us get out of N.A.T.O.', 'Let us build the Belgrade-Athens-Cairo Axis'.

Now that British imperialism has lost Suez, it plans to use Cyprus as a base for an attack on the Soviet Union. From Cyprus it can also threaten or actually attack any nation in the Middle East, still under British domination, which may try to free itself. It is only a few months since British planes took off from Cyprus to bomb Arab tribes in the Aden area which had revolted against British rule. Last but not least, on January 11, two thousand British paratroopers were despatched to Cyprus to be used 'if the need arises' against the people of Jordan, and to protect 'the great British capital resources in the Middle East, in particular in the oil industry' (The Times, January 11, 1956).


Britain and Greece* by N. ZACHAKIADES

  • From Rizospastis—5th June, 1945

Cyprus being indisputably Greek, E.A.M. trusts that Britain will satisfy the Pan-Hellenic claim for union.

E.A.M. stresses the imperative need of elections for the Constituent Assembly as soon as possible, under the supervision of an Inter-Allied Commission guaranteeing genuine results. E.A.M. does not oppose the control of economy, but believes that as planned at present by the government, namely, without the participation of the people, it would only favour big bank capital.



Similarly, his comic attempt to designate the enemy in Greece as "Trotskyism" revealed his sense of the incongruity of denouncing Communism at a time when Communist armies are suffering the heaviest sacrifices and dealing the heaviest blows against the common enemy, Nazi Germany.

Greece—the Acid Test

It is in the light of this military situation of the war as a whole that the Greek adventure and decision to impose on the Greek people by force of foreign arms, battleships, bombs and tanks an unpopular Government must be judged. If such a course, however harsh, had been rendered necessary by the major requirements of the war against Nazism, no right of selfdetermination could be allowed for the time being to stand in the way. We are not fighting this war on the basis of "Lefts" versus "Rights," but on the basis of the common interest of all nations, of all democrats and patriots, whatever their political outlook, to destroy the monster of Nazism and Fascism. We are not demanding of British Conservatives to abandon their predilections for "the Right" against "the Left," provided they do not include in the former term fascists and supporters of fascism over whom to throw their mantle of protection. We only demand, and have a right to demand, that they do not allow their partisan predilections to disrupt the front of trie peoples fighting fascism or sabotage the war against Nazi Germany. But if the military intervention in Greece was not dictated by any requirement whatever of the war against Nazism; if, on the contrary, it withdrew urgently heeded forces and arms from the war against Nazi Germany; if it was only directed for partisan political purposes to disrupt the national front of all those who had fought the Germans, and to protect or place in power those who had lived passively under the Germans, negotiated with the Germans or served the Germans, then such action becomes a crime against the alliance of the United Nations, against British democracy and against British soldiers.(P35)

Democrats or Plotters?

Which of these two types has characterised the Greek situation? The facts are inescapable. The dispatch of British troops to Greece was not directed either to liberate Greece from Nazi rule or to pursue the war against Nazism. Greece, apart from the islands still occupied by the Nazis, was already liberated, by the Soviet advance to the Balkans and Tito's advance making the German position impossible, and by the action of the Greek liberation movement (Earn and Elas) before the British military expedition. Athens and the whole Greek mainland was already under the orderly rule of Earn, before any British troops arrived or Papandreou was brought on ' a British warship. Then was the time for Earn to carry through a "plot," if that had been their intention. On the contrary, they strove for the broadest democratic and national front of all who stood against the Germans—directly carrying forward the broad popular front of all democratic parties and organisations which had already been established and won a majority in Parliament eight years ago, when that Parliament with a popular majority was arbitrarily dispersed by the King and replaced by PRODUCED 2005 BY UNZ.ORG ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED

36 martial law and the fascist dictatorship, of Metaxas. For eight years the democratic front has led the undying struggle' of the Greek people, against fascist dictatorship, first against Metaxas, arid then against Hitler and his quislings,' ami reached its highest point in "the organisation of the national liberation movement or Earn, representing, according to Conservative press correspondents writing on the eVe of liberation, ninety per cent, of the Greek people.'

Whose Plot ?

Why should the war against this democratic front of the overwhelming' majority of the Greek people, which had been conducted for five years by the dictator Metaxas, and for three years by Hitler, have been taken over by British arms—even to the extent of using the same fascist police and gendarmerie which had served Metaxas and served Hitler? This is the question which all the proclamations and protestations about "democracy." cannot answer. The Earn leaders and the Greek people welcomed the British military forces as friends and allies, thinking they had come to help in the common, struggle against the Nazi enemy and to assist in -the final expulsion of the Nazis from the Greek: islands. How could- they know, that these military forces had been dispatched with secret orders; concocted and drawn up months before, as revealed in Mr: Churchill ?s -speech of December, 8, to crush Earn—orders which were ruthlessly and provocatively put into operation, despite all the conciliatory attempts and concessions of Earn. The legend of a "plot,'' the familiar justificatory theory of preventive violence, to '' prevent a Communist rising," to "prevent a massacre," follows a technique too often used. This was the technique employed by, Hitler to justify the establishment of his dictatorship in 1933, in order to "prevent a Communist rising.":.This was the identical technique employed by Metaxas and King George; in 1936, when the Parliament with a popular majority was dissolved and fascist dictatorship^ established, to "prevent a Communist rising." If Earn had the support of ninety per cent, of the Greek people it had no need of a plot. The plot came from other quarters.

Who Was Misled ?

Mr. :Churchill! has since sought to excuse his evident miscalculation of the strength of popular support of the Greek national .liberation movement and its army, Elas, as a result of which what was, intended as a police operation became a war against the Greek people, by claiming that'he was "misled" as to the military strength of Elas. Who misled him? Not the reports' of competent British military officers on the spot, or the tributes of FieldMarshal Sir Henry Maitland-Wilson' to the achievements of Elas. Nor the reports which came to the B.B.C., with' regard to which the Government found it necessary to issue its special instruction last August that "the Prime Minister has ruled that in principle no credit of any,kind is to be given to Efas or Earn on the B.B.C:"' Nor the inverse tributes of the ferocity of Nazi references to the activities of the partisans (echoed in Haw*-Haw's subsequent broadcast: "You British can have the Greeks, and their Earn and Elas; we had them for three years, and had quite enough; now it is your turn"). The "misleading" reports came from the same suspect quarters which for partisan reasons were concerned to deny the plain facts of the broad popular and national-patriotic basis of the Greek liberation movement.

Democracy or Rule by Foreign Bayonets ?

The issue in,Greece remains urgent, not only for the importance of the situation in Greece itself and its repercussions in the Balkans, but for the wound caused to democratic feeling and confidence throughout the United Nations. The present uneasy truce can only be the beginning, not, the end of a settlement What is the position? By force of foreign arms alone a Government of unpopular .and unrepresentative figures, who played no part in the struggle against Nazism, led by a man already known as the author of half a dozen attempted coups d'etat, supported by a fascist police, and surrounded by a medley of ex-Metaxist agents and crooks, has been imposed on the Greek people—in the name of "dempcracy." Not Greek support, but British support maintains this Government; in Mr. Churchill's words, "the Greek Government are largely dependent upon our armed forces for their existence." There is no lasting solution here. New steps are essential. And in the search for a solution a warning needs to be givea against the present propagandist attempt to conceal the true issues and justify the violence of the reactionaries and pro-fascists by highlycoloured charges of excesses against the Greek popular movement. This also is a familiar technique. Precisely the same type of charges were also made against the early Soviet Republie (by the same Leepers, Alexanders, Plastiras' and other anti-Soviet crusaders), as always against every popular, struggle for freedom.

Next Steps in Greece

The only lasting solution must be a democratic solution. This is agreed in principle on ail sides. But a democratic solution is not achieved by maintaining by violence an unrepresentative Government and its fascist supporters in power, and then promising future elections with '.'universal suffrage," "secret ballot," etCi— after the democratic organisation has been broken up, its leaders thrown in prison, and the fascist police have beaten up the people. This was the! familiar technique of Hitler in 1933, first to establish his terror and break up the popular organisations, and then to hold "democratic" elections,' with "universal suffrage," "secret ballot," etc.. A democratic solution requires a full amnesty and negotiations now for the establishment of a Government representative of all the democratic forces of the Greek people; in which Earn will have its due part; which will reorganise the police and replace all sectional armed formations by national armed formations under the control of such a Government; and in which the people will have confidence to organise democratic elections. Such a solution corresponds to British interests, which will not be served by attempting to^ build on reactionary fragments that will collapse as soon as foreign arms are withdrawn, but by a lasting agreement with the representative democratic forces of the Greek people.

Democracy Resurgent

In all the liberated countries of Europe, as well as in the ex-satellite countries withdrawn from Nazi domination, the same issues arise, in varying forms and degree, of democratic development, of destruction of the fascist and pro-fascist enemies of the people, and release of the popular anti-fascist forces. The claims of democracy are not met by legalistic formulas; about future elections, if in the present decisive phase (when "the moulds can be set out to receive a great deal of molten metal") the forms of State power are being already determined by the maintenance by external force of reactionary Governments against the popular anti-fascist resistance movements. This essential principle of living democracy today, that it must be based on the fighting front against fascism, was clearly recognised by The Times, when it declared in its editorial on December 16:—

The National Provisional Government of any liberated country, in justice and expediency alike, must be built around the active and most turbulent resistance movement which has kept the flame of nationhood alight tinder enemy occupation, privation and terror. Its head must be a man accepted by and active in resistance. Its members must be a majority of resisters. Its policy and programme must be in tune with those which have been worked out, close to realities, in the fighting underground.

This is the wise judgment of the organ which today speaks for the most farsightqd and realist section of the ruling class in this country, and which can count it an honour to have incurred the sneers of the Tory backwoodsmen. Alongside this judgment we may set the proud boast of Ilya Ehrenburg on behalf of the Soviet Union:—

If in the countries liberated by the Red Army the traitors are in prisons and not in rest-homes, if the guerillas of Slovakia, Norway and Bulgaria are not disarmed, it is because the Red Army is a liberator and not a guardian



SIMILARLY, it is no accident that Papandreou, who lived peaceably in Athens under Nazi rule without participation in the patriotic resistance movement of the people, who returned to Athens with British armed forces to take over after Greece was already liberated and completely orderly and peaceful under the control of the National Liberation Movement, and who is at the moment of writing only able to maintain his "Government" on a few square yards of territory behind barbed wire, by the protection of foreign arms, tanks, warships and bombing planes against the people, should come out with fieryd emands for a foreign policy directed, not against Nazi Germany, but against Jugoslavia, for a "Greater Greece" and the incorporation of Macedonia, so that the Jugoslav leading newspaper Borba has found it necessary to issue the warning:—

The victory of Papandreou would be the victory of a fascist minority which wants a clash in the Balkans and a so-called "Greater Greece." The Jugoslav people know well that the heroic resistance of the Greek people is a pledge for the future of ttie Balkans. A victory for the Greek people would mean a victory for peace and a happy life in the Balkans.

Once agajn the issue is no mere internal question of Right and Left (still less, of fantastic "Red plot" inventions dished out in exact repetition of the Gpebbels technique against the liberation movements), but of the vital interests of the United Nations.

interests of the United Nations. WHAT are •the' military consequences of this disastrous policy? Aimed forces, which are required for the fight against Hitler, are withdrawn from Italy or elsewhere tb Greece, not to fight the German forces still entrenched in the Aegean, but to fight the anti-fascists on the Greek mainland, where there are no Germans. This makes no conceivable sense from the standpoint of the war against Nazi Germany; it only makes sense from a standpoint which puts the interests of class warfare before the interests of the war against Germany. The Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean is ordered to concentrate his attention, not against the Nazis, but on full war operations against the anti-fascists in Greece, the same soldiers whom the Nazis have been fighting for the past three years

BUT the consequences extend further. The front in Italy is thereby weakened. The deeper the imbroglio in Greece, as the original miscalculation of a supposed rapid police operation is exposed and replaced by the recognition of full-scale war against the Greek people, more reinforcements are demanded to be sent to Greece, more arms, more ships, more men, all withdrawn from the fight against Hitler. Thereby the Nazis are freed to remove divisions from the Italian front, and to send them to the decisive Eastern front. Already an official Soviet statement in the middle of December called attention to the fact that there are now 220 enemy divisions, including 200 German divisions,, on the Soviet-German front, and that during October and November 32 German divisions have been transferred from other fronts, including Italy, to the Soviet-German front. Grave military consequences can follow from an incorrect political policy. There is urgent need for the British people to correct the disastrous policy at present pursued in Greece. The aims of the war for the military defeat of Nazism must necessarily include the political destruction of fascism in all countries; there can be no separation between the two.





the Soviet solution: the cessation of the civil war, a general amnesty, and free elections organised by a body on which the Greek liberation movement would be duly represented. Gromyko had also proposed the supervision of the elections and control of Greece's northern frontiers by the Great Powers, including the U.S.S.R.

The final text of the main Anglo-American-Australian-Kuomintang resolution on Greece was adopted by 38 votes to six on November 4. This resolution will give little solace, however, to Athens. In only two respects does it seriously differ from the resolution of a year ago: First, Yugoslavia is now graciously excluded from the list of countries allegedly aiding the Greek guerillas. And secondly, an arms embargo against Albania and Bulgaria is called for. But since the dollar-dependencies are prohibited from sending arms or even strategic raw materials to Albania and Bulgaria anyway, and the People's Democracies and the Soviet Union will continue their fraternal policy towards these two states, this new clause in fact will have no effect whatsoever




Fifty-six years of Imperialist domination have reduced the workers and peasants of Cyprus to abject poverty and slavery. More than two-sevenths of the entire cultivated land belongs to the Church and the Monasteries. More than three-fourteenths are expropriated or mortgaged and only seven fourteenths are owned by the peasants.

Cyprus is predominantly a peasant land. 75 per cent, of the entire population are peasants—small owners or renter (i.e., peasants who rent land from the big kulak farmers or from the Church and cultivate it). The Church, the biggest feudal landlord, along with a dark phalanx of usurers and moneylenders, have crushed and ruined the peasants.

(From Terror in Cyprus by Evdoros Joannides, May, 1934.)



One thing is clear that through the transformation of the leadership of the CPSU into Titoites, so do the Greek and Cypriot party leaders become Titoites.

One thing is clear that when the CPSU and thus Greek and Cypriot parties are lost so is the cause of Greek (Cypriot) national liberation is lost!

One thing is clear: we must rebuilt our parties!





This achievement of the people of Greece has already had its effect upon THE AGGRESSIVE ALLIANCES OF THE IMPERIALISTS' SATELLITES. Only a few weeks ago GREECE, TURKEY AND YUGOSLAVIA signed a treaty of alliance: today Turkey threatens Greece with war itself if the appeal to U.N.O. on Cyprus is proceeded with.



FROM MAY 27 TO JUNE 2, 1955, negotiations took place in Belgrade and on Brioni Island between the Government delegation of the USSR, comprising N. S. Khrushchev, Member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and First Secretary of the C.C. of the CPSU; N. A. Bulganin, Chairman of the Council of Minister of the USSR; A. I. Mikoyan, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR; D. T. Shepilov, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet, Member of the C.C. of the CPSU and Chief Editor of Pravda; A. A. Gromyko, First Deputy Foreign Minister; P. N. Kumykin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade; and the delegation of the Government of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, comprising Josip Broz Tito, President of the FPRY; Edvard Kardelj, Aleksandar Rancovic and Svetozar Vukmanovic-Tempo, Vice-Chairmen of the Federal Executive Council; Mialko Todorovic, Member of the Federal Executive Council; Koca Popovic, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Velko Micunovic, Deputy State Secretary for foreign Affairs of the FPRY





When ON DECEMBER 18, 1955, a huge demonstration in support of Enosis (Union of Cyprus with Greece) took place in Athens, SOME OF THE MAIN SLOGANS WERE: 'LET US GET OUT OF N.A.T.O.', 'LET US BUILD THE BELGRADE-ATHENS-CAIRO AXIS'.