23rd IMCWP, Contribution by AKEL

10/25/23, 11:46 AM
  • Cyprus, Progressive Party of the Working People [AKEL] 23rd IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

AKEL, Cyprus

23rd IMCWP Izmir, 20-22/10/2023

The political and ideological battles to confront capitalists and imperialism. The tasks of communists to inform and mobilize the working class, youth, women, and intellectuals in the struggle against exploitation, oppression, imperialist lies and historical revisionism; for the social and democratic rights of workers and peoples; against militarism and war, for peace and socialism.


Dear Comrades,

As we meet today, humanity is in a shock by the abhorrent crime that caused the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in the Israeli air raid on the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. The sophisticated Israeli war machine continues to viciously pound Gaza, aiming to raise the whole Strip to the ground, irrespective of the enormous human toll. History has not started on the 7th of October, and the events have not happened in a vacuum. Nobody can claim ignorance over the injustice, pain and suffering inflicted by the Israeli state, occupation troops and settlers on the heroic Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the 56-years-long occupation.  Only the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent viable Palestinian state, on the 4/6/1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, can stop the vicious circle of bloodshed; a vicious circle that has claimed the lives of civilians -including numerous children and women- of both Palestinians and Israelis. Every human life counts that is why we also denounce the crimes committed by Hamas against civilians. AKEL expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people and our comrades in Palestine and Israel, that are facing the extreme- right-wing Israeli government.  For AKEL the struggle against militarism and war, for peace is today - speaking especially for the peoples of our region - a matter of survival. 

Our turbulent region of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean is living through yet another explosive situation, with intensifying military presence of imperialist forces, the US and its NATO allies in the region, involving also their numerous military bases. The protection of their declared ally and their enormous interests, in energy resources and others in the region, is their objective.  It should not escape our attention that Israel is a nuclear power. Further conflagration of the crisis may entail unforeseen consequences to all peoples of our region.  The Palestinian problem is at the heart of the Middle East problem and the peoples of the region can only envisage a peaceful future if international law and the UN resolutions are implemented and the Palestinian people is able to live free.  The double standards policy pursued by the west is unacceptable and unsustainable. 

The Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, know all too well by experience these policies.  July 2024 will mark 50 years since the fascist coup d’etat staged by the Greek Junta and the Turkish invasion. Since then, 37% of our island is under Turkish occupation, with a constant influx of settlers, fait accompli and expansionist provocations by Turkey, for example in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.  For AKEL, the reunification of our island and people under a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality as defined by the UN, is the only viable solution- and it is urgent.  This struggle can only be successful as a common struggle of the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.  In pursuing this many-years-long policy AKEL is working together with the left progressive political parties in the Turkish Cypriot community; holding events and mass gatherings, eg joint trade unions celebrations of May Day and the International Peace Day, but also in depth work and debates in working groups. These include also the elaboration of common positions on labour and social rights, on environment, and other fields vital for the common future that we envisage for our country despite all odds. 

In June 2024 local elections will be held in Cyprus, simultaneously with the European Parliament elections. Local authorities for AKEL have always had a high importance as this is the power that is closer to the people, the most tangible, where daily problems faced mainly by the most vulnerable may be tackled, and our intervention can be direct and meaningful. This is an area where we have always strived to build local alliances and common fronts for the benefit of the people; and we have had positive results. 

As for the European elections, AKEL since Cyprus’ accession to the European Union in 2004, is successively holding two out of the six seats of Cyprus.  The Party is working consistently to reelect two Members. We consider this important for our Party and Cyprus, as well as a contribution to the only common platform of broad left forces at the European Union level. Despite the difficulties faced in the Left-GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, it is important that the communist and left parties in the EU member states can strengthen their positions and succeed to have a strong and more united presence in the EP.  This should be the clear voice of the class-based Trade unions, the working people and its movements in difference fields; conveying the voice of the street to the EP and struggling for the real needs of their peoples. We should stand united at that platform too against the militarisation of the EU and its full alignment with NATO and its war-driving machine;  a policy that imposes on the working people austerity, sky-rocketing prices on energy and basic goods depriving them and their families of social, economic, education development. At the same time that is a platform where we rise in solidarity with all the struggling peoples of the world, in defence of their right to freedom, sovereignty and independent choice of their future.  And this is what we do at this critical time for the Palestinian people, but also for the people of Cuba, of Sudan, of West Sahara, and all other peoples in struggle or victims of imperialist policies. 

Climate change is gradually affecting every corner of our planet.  Wars and imperialist interventions, along with the droughts, floods or fires, lead millions of people to poverty and destitute, while thousands become displaced, refugees or decide to migrate.  When the European Union said in 2005 that climate change is a security threat for Europe, the consequences of fortress Europe were on the horizon.  Now they are long here with tragic results.  The extreme-right has used the situation to gain ground and threaten almost every one country in Europe and many others across the globe. 

Fifty years after the fascist coup d’etat against President Salvador Allende and the government of Unidad Popular in Chile – an act directed by Kissinger and the CIA just as in the case of Cyprus ten months later – fascism and extreme-right wing forces are on the rise. The exreme-right wing threat is here again, this time through different means, gaining state power via elections. With this threat already  present, we the communist and workers parties should raise our voice and unite broad fronts of the people to stop the far- right, to stop fascism from ever returning, and secure a sustainable and equitable future for all peoples, and build socialism.


Thank you