With the Left, forward again!
15 August 2021, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The 95th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Cyprus (CPC) represents a milestone in the course of our country and people. On the occasion of this anniversary, AKEL respectfully honours the memory and contribution of all the pioneering people’s fighters who founded, consolidated and grew the Party of the People. It addresses a message of vigilance and counter-attack to the thousands of militants and members of AKEL for the struggles that lie ahead of us, struggles for our homeland and people. At the same time, we address a message of unity and rallying of forces to the people of the broader Left, to the democratic and progressive citizens of our country, so we can chart together a different path, the path of progress for the Cyprus of the future.
15 August 1926 marks the history of Cyprus because it gave birth to the Party of the working class and working people of Cyprus. In the struggle against British colonialism, the local plutocracy and loans sharks, the CPC spoke and fought for what no one had previously spoken and fought for. It was the first time in our country’s history that a voice spoke for the people and the poor as the protagonists of struggles and History.
The CPC was the first voice that planted and sowed in Cypriot society the revolutionary vision of socialism, communist ideas, the ideals of internationalism and peace.
It was the first force on the island that struggled for the formation of a united front of Greeks and Turks of Cyprus against British colonialism. It was the founder, the heart and mind of the worker’s movement that established trade unions all over the island and organised the first workers’ struggles for wages, an eight-hour work and social insurance.
The CPC projected demands that were revolutionary for that period, such as gender equality and the protection of motherhood, the prohibition of child labour, the right to free education, the distribution of church and “vakouf” land to landless peasants, and the cancellation of the debts of the dispossessed peasantry.
It rallied and united progressive intellectuals and artists with the working class in organized struggles and, at the same time, inspired a movement of culture and education that clashed with the ignorance and religious obscurantism of the time.
For almost a century now, our Party, as the Communist Party of Cyprus in the beginning and subsequently as AKEL as its successor, has survived ordeals the like of which no other force in the country has ever encountered: assassinations, persecutions, imprisonment, twice banned forced into illegality, organised slander, defeats and setbacks. But it has always managed to overcome the ordeals and tests each time because it was and is tied to the people and is accountable only to them. It has managed to do so because it had and still has the strength to recognize and correct mistakes and weaknesses; to be at the forefront of the struggles of the times, to respond to the contemporary demands of the working people and the young generation; to respond with courage and optimism to the challenges of our era.
This is precisely what it will do now because Cyprus needs a powerful AKEL, a strong Left. To save our country from the definitive division of our homeland. For the working people to have a strong force defending their interests, gains and rights. To chart the prospect of progressive change in the governance of the country.
On the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Communist Party of Cyprus-AKEL, the Party assures that it will do what is necessary so that the step backwards becomes a leap forward in the struggles, for the future and hope. For Cyprus and the world we envision of.