Title: The People of Cyprus Fight for Peace and National Liberation by E. Papaioannou, General Secretary of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), Cyprus Source: For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy! Bucharest. Organ of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers’ Parties, No. 6 (66), Friday, February 10, 1950. No. 6 (66), Friday, February 10, 1950, page 2.
THE PEOPLE OF CYPRUS FIGHT FOR PEACE AND NATIONAL LIBERATION — E. Papaioannou, General Secretary of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), Cyprus
Cyprus has been earmarked by Anglo-American imperialism to play an important role in its war plans against the Soviet Union and the new People’s Democracies. Military aerodromes, radar stations and military camps have been built and more are in the process of construction. A large electric power station destined for military purposes is under construction. The recent visit to Cyprus of Mr. Shinwell, British Minister for War, is closely connected with imperialist plans for turning Cyprus into the biggest War base in the Middle East. British troops from Greece are being transferred to Cyprus where “new military settlements’’ are being built. Three radio stations are already functioning on the Island. One of them an American, is blaring out anti-Soviet propaganda in Russian. The other two are British, one of which is beaming propaganda to the Arab countries in Arabic. American imperialist penetration in Cyprus is becoming more and more evident. An American firm owns the Cyprus copper mines which employ over two thousand workers. Special rights have been granted to the American Government by the British authorities for acquiring land in Cyprus on which, it is said, aerodromes will be constructed. All indications point to Cyprus being turned by the Anglo-American imperialists into a springboard for an attack against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies. The imperialists dominate the island contrary to the will of the peace-loving and liberty-loving Cyprus people, and despite their strong protests made at numerous public meetings and demonstrations. The people of Cyprus are fighting against preparations for a new war; for their national freedom and for union with Greece. Whenever British or American naval units visit Cyprus, popular demonstrations under the slogans: “Down with war”, “Down with imperialism”, “Long Live Union with Greece”, take place on the sea front. Cyprus is today in the grip of a serious economic crisis. The number of unemployed is over five thousand—a pretty high figure, considering that the entire population of the Island is less than half a million. Our trade balance shows a deficit of over ten million pounds in one year. The vine-growers and potato-growers are ruined because they cannot export their products: the prices offered are below production costs. Britain prefers to import vine products from Franco Spain and other countries rather than from Cyprus. Unemployed who seek work or unemployment benefit from British administrators are attacked by the police and imprisoned. Unemployment, hunger and poverty is the lot of the people of Cyprus. British imperialism denies our people not only the right to self-determination but also the fundamental human rights. Hundreds of our people have been sent to jail—including a Mayor, a Deputy-Mayor and two municipal councillors and several thousand pounds in fines have been imposed for peaceful assemblies or demonstrations in protest against the national, political and economic oppression of our people. But the people of Cyprus, four-fifths of whom are Greeks, nearly one-fifth are Turks, are fighting to rid themselves of the imperialist yoke. Under the leadership of the Progressive Party of Cyprus Working People (AKEL) a broad national liberation movement is developing for union of Cyprus with Greece. On January 15-22, 1950, a plebiscite was held in Cyprus to decide whether the people of Cyprus wished to unite with Greece. This plebiscite showed that of 224,747 people who had the right to vote in the ballot, 215,108 voted in favour of uniting Cyprus with Greece. Since Civil Servants were deprived of the right to vote in the plebiscite it is clear that 100 per cent of the population favoured unity with Greece. Following the result of the plebiscite, popular organisations, on January 31 led by the Progressive Party of the Working People, addressed a request to the Secretariat of the United Nations Organisation to place the question of uniting Cyprus with Greece on the agenda of the next session of the General Assembly. There is no doubt that this request of the popular organisations in Cyprus, backed by the result of the plebiscite, will be supported by all democratic organisations fighting for peace, against the warmongers and against Anglo-American imperialists who in Cyprus have once again shown their true colours as the oppressors of the national independence of the people. It stands to reason that the unanimous demand of the Cyprus people to unite with Greece by no means implies approval of the monarcho-fascist regime set up in Greece by the Anglo-American imperialists.