AKEL’S PROPOSALS TO SOCIETY
6. The 23rd Congress of AKEL is convening in conditions characterised by increased international instability and uncertainty. The deepening of the systemic crisis, which is being externalised through multiple frictions between the various capitalist centres of the world, has led to the sharpening of the class antagonisms between capital and labour, to increasing aggression and opening of new sources of military conflict.
7. During the period of the Covid-19 pandemic and under the veil of silence imposed by most of the major international mass media, tensions have escalated dangerously, political and military interventions have continued and the calls issued by the UN Secretary General for a global ceasefire and the promotion of solidarity and cooperation went unheeded.
8. The further entrenchment of the flagrant violation of international law, the prevalence of double standards policies and the intensification of the machinations to set under the control of the US-Britain and NATO and in some cases replace the UN are dealing a very serious blow to international relations and promoting an extremely dangerous order. Indicative of this effort to consolidate an extremely dangerous order under their control is the US-Israeli so-called “Deal of the Century” project that is already being implemented, in violation of International Law and numerous UN resolutions, paving the way for the Israeli government to proceed with its plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories, completely undermining the prospect of arriving at a political solution within the framework of international law. The lukewarm and timid reaction of the international community towards the recent upsurge of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people is a continuation of this effort. The extension of the criminal blockade of Cuba, with direct consequences in the day-to-day lives of its citizens with the ultimate aim of overthrowing the Cuban revolution, is an integral part of this framework. Regime change is being attempted simultaneously in various countries (for example, Venezuela and Bolivia). These actions are in flagrant violation of international law, undermining the principles of the respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and non-interference in their internal affairs. These principles have also been violated in the worst possible way in Syria, which has become a theatre of confrontation between foreign interests and has been de facto divided into spheres of influence. In both Syria and Libya, Turkey is playing a leading role in the violation of international legality.
9. The rapid impoverishment that followed the outbreak of the pandemic and the need to reshape the economy did not put any brake on military expenditure, with the US, NATO and the EU as the main protagonists. The arms race is an expression of the broader militarisation of international relations that is particularly plaguing the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Anastasiades-DISY government’s designation of Cyprus as an outpost of the West and its attachment to the US military war machine through the blackmailing provisions of the Menéndez-Rubio law and the implementation of the CYCLOPS (“Cyprus Centre for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security”) programme promote militarisation and undermine Cyprus’ credibility when it invokes international law and seeks international support for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
10. The pandemic has accelerated the creation of new surveillance mechanisms for millions of citizens around the world with the utilisation of new technologies and even biotechnology in the name now of protecting public health. These complement international imperialism’s already huge arsenal which consists of an extensive surveillance network monitoring millions of citizens around the world, the EU’s “anti-terror” laws and the curbing of democratic freedoms and rights in various countries, including that of organised political activity.
11. Religious fanaticism, nationalism-chauvinism and the hatred they generate remain repugnant and dangerous products of the system, while at the same time also becoming an instrument for manipulating citizens so that they tolerate any repressive and surveillance measures. In this way, they seek to gain the participation or consent of the people in imperialist pursuits, as well as the suppression of all political and popular forces that react.
12. The widening of social inequalities and the persistent attempt to falsify history by the representatives of the ruling class throughout the world facilitate, among other things, the rise of fascism, extreme reactionary and racist organisations which, with their supposedly “anti-systemic” discourse, obscure the root causes of exploitation and the crisis. The resurgence of the anti-racist movement in the US and the court ruling against of the “Golden Dawn” party in Greece as a criminal organisation, raise hopes for deeper progressive changes, provided that they are accompanied by a collective cultivation of an anti-racist and anti-fascist culture.
13. Anti-communism and the attempt to equate fascism with communism also constitute a strategic policy choice of the national and transnational centres of power seeking to distance the popular masses, and especially the young generation, from the communist Left, the force that can organise and orientate struggles correctly and effectively. But the “two extremes” theory and the attempt to impose historical revisionism in order to erase from humanity’s collective memory the crimes committed by imperialism and fascism have opened wide the door to the growth of extreme reactionary, racist and fascist organisations. These forces, with their supposedly anti-systemic discourse, obscure the causes of exploitation and the crisis.
The 23rd Congress of AKEL:
14. Reaffirms the Party’s commitment to the defence and enhancement of international law, the upholding of the UN Charter against the unilateral interventions of the imperialists, the abolition of NATO and to the demilitarization of the European Union’s external action.
15. Opposes the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in PESCO, its membership or commitment in any way to NATO, the Anastasiades-DISY government’s agreements promoting the military subordination of Cyprus to the USA, as well as the use of our country’s territory to wage attacks on third countries.
16. AKEL, given that all the above will lead to new adventures, both for our people and for the cause of the solution of the Cyprus problem, will continue to exercise scrutiny and demand a change in the one-dimensional and dangerous foreign policy being pursued by the current government.
17. Oppose Cyprus being used by the British and NATO in general as a military and spying base for the Middle East, a fact which undermines independence and reinforces the dangers for our country. It reaffirms the goal of the abolition of the British bases.
18. AKEL is firmly in favour of demilitarization, against nuclear weapons and in favour of disarmament and will continue, in coordination with other communist and left-wing parties, progressive and peace movements, to work to make the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East a nuclear-free zone, an area free of weapons of mass destruction and fully demilitarized.
19. Reaffirms that it will continue to express its solidarity with all struggling peoples, such as the heroic people of Cuba and the long-suffering Palestinian people, for the prevalence of international law, peace and security, for real growth to the benefit of the peoples and not of the imperialists and monopolies, and for the respect of all rights of the people.
20. Reaffirms the Party’s readiness to intensify the enlightenment of the people and its struggle against the rise of reactionary and neo-fascist forces in Europe, expressing its solidarity with the communist parties and organisations being persecuted and who are struggling to avoid a historical setback, both locally as well as in Europe.
The solution must provide for:
62.The 23rd Congress of the Party considers as urgent the need to reshape the Cyprus economy on axes such as ensuring that public finances support social needs, sustainable development and the creation of infrastructures, the reform of the tax system and the taxation of wealth, the stamping out of tax evasion and corruption, the provision of support of small and medium-size businesses and self-employed working people, modernising the public utility organisations and self-employed working people, the development of a cooperative economy and reestablishment of a cooperative credit sector, investment in research and innovation, the digital transformation of the state and economy.
71.Education is a non-negotiable public and social good, which must be provided free of charge to all young people, be of high quality and offer equal opportunities of access, participation and success for all. This presupposes resistance to neoliberalism’s onslaught in education promoted by the Anastasiades government at all education levels. AKEL has elaborated a comprehensive package of positions and demands on education issues. AKEL’s vision is a modern, democratic and humanist school, far from any social exclusions and learning inequalities, a school in which children are guided by the teacher to discover knowledge, develop critical thinking, a school of joy, happiness, arts and creativity. AKEL will continue to struggle for the provision of effective state student care and the creation of a climate of equal opportunities through equal opportunities for young people at all levels of education. The Party considers the contribution and development of university education in our country to be important. It supports the university community through the further institutional enhancement of academic autonomy and freedom, ensuring dignified terms and conditions of employment, both in the private and public sector, strengthening inter-university cooperation and research.
76.We assert the guarantee of adequate pensions for the elderly and a network of care, social support, recreation and social integration services so that the State can ensure in practice their right to dignified quality living. Among other things, AKEL will intensify the struggle, both inside and outside Parliament, for the abolition of the unfair and levelling 12% penalty on pensions for those who choose to retire at the age of 63 and for securing the right to a widow’s pension for all male widowers.
97. AKEL does not compromise with the phenomenon of the use and abuse of addictive substances, legal and illegal, which is one of the main challenges of modern capitalist society. The multidimensional nature of the problem demands a comprehensive approach, with the priority being the prevention of use, especially among young people, and the destigmatisation of people with a substance dependence problem.