AKEL C.C. Press Office, 15th August 2019, Nicosia
In conditions of deep illegality and secrecy, on 15th August 1926, in a small house in Limassol, some twenty vanguard Communists took the decision to establish the Communist Party of Cyprus (CPC). This event completed a long process of discussion and fermentation within the first underground communist cells, which appeared on our island under the direct influence of the ideas and visions of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia.
The first Communists faced many difficult and painful years as they found themselves targeted by the colonial power, the establishment of the plutocracy, clerics, encountering prejudice and the ignorance of the popular masses. Despite the adversities, convictions, unbearable fines, harassment and repression, imprisonment, the CPC not only endured, but created the preconditions for the development of the struggle for the rights of the working people, peasants, craftsmen, women and the youth.
The CPC asserted social justice, labour rights, set ambitious visions and long-term goals. It above all set the full liberation of Cyprus from the colonial yoke as its priority and paid a heavy price with the enforced exile of two of its leading militants (Vatis and Skeleas), as well as the imprisonment or tracking of dozens of its militants after the repression of the 1931 October anti-colonial revolt at a time when most of its political opponents cooperated and served the foreign power during the British colonial regime of Governor Palmer. The political structure of AKEL, the entire People’s Movement of the Left, rests on those solid foundations laid by the pioneering Communists with their struggles, action and self-sacrifice.
AKEL, a creation of the illegal CPC and its worthy successor, left its indelible mark on our people’s political and social struggles, in which it continues to play a pioneering role up to the present day, to lift the Turkish occupation and reunify our homeland, for the solution of the socio-economic problems accumulated by the economic crisis and the neoliberal policies of the governing ruling circles so that the paths and perspectives for a fairer society that will focus on the common people and their needs will be opened up.
Turning our memory back to 1926 and the course of over nine decades which followed, we pay tribute to the thousands of members and militants of the mass organizations of the People’s Movement of the Left who, with their sacrifices and struggles, created the best possible conditions for the common people and established AKEL as a serious, responsible and mass political and social force, which represents a guarantee for the vindication of our people - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
We pay tribute to the many hundreds of militants, members and friends of AKEL who sacrificed even their very lives for freedom, independence, democracy and peace in our country.
On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC - AKEL, we renew our commitment to continue the struggle for the reunification of our homeland, for social justice, equity and prosperity.