The anniversary of the invasion was seen as an ideal day for Akel to repeat some of its anti-West propaganda which dates back to the Cold War that ended more than 20 years ago. Party spokesman Stefanos Stefanou used the programme of military training that the US will provide the national guard as the pretext for some old-fashioned US bashing.
Informing us that the programme would exclusively serve the interests of the US, Stefanou went on to say that this was “a state that indeed had a sinful role in the tragedy of our country and that even today is not famed for its respect of international law”. We can only guess that the “sinful role” relates to the US’ failure to stop the invasion of Cyprus by its Nato ally, Turkey.
This has been the narrative since 1974 and Akel felt obliged to remind everyone. Conveniently, it ignores the fact that the US had repeatedly tried to broker a settlement in Cyprus, sending envoys, facilitating peace talks and undertaking confidence-building initiatives. And this was much more than the Soviet Union, from which Akel took its orders, and subsequently Russia ever did to help solve the Cyprus problem. In fact, the Soviet Union had never condemned the Turkish invasion, a fact that Akel and its fellow travellers conveniently ignored.
Now it seems Akel has decided to do for Russia what it had been doing for the Soviet Union in the Cold War era – acting as its local champion and perpetuating the myth that it is Cyprus’ greatest and most reliable ally. In his statement, Stefanou lashed out against the Menendez-Rubio law, that paved the way for closer cooperation between the US and Cyprus because it envisages “the dissolution of the relations of our country first and foremost with Russia and subsequently with China”.
Akel’s double standards and lack of consistency is astonishing. It asks, “what are the common interests of Cyprus and the US, the government of which has as a stated objective to maintain, at all costs, Turkey in the Western camp and not to shield Cyprus against Turkish aggressiveness?” It is totally blind to the close relations between Russia and Turkey, and how the former has as its stated objective to bring the latter into its own anti-Western camp. Has Russia ever shielded Cyprus against Turkish aggressiveness? No, it has not even verbally condemned Turkey’s violations of the Cypriot EEZ. Perhaps this is because, unlike the US, the Russian Federation is famed for its respect of international law.
When will Akel finally enter the 21st century and put behind it its sinful past of loyally supporting the police states of the Soviet Union and its satellites? The world has moved on, Cyprus irrevocably joined the Western camp when it joined the EU. Stefanos and his comrades should come to terms with this reality.