There has always been a shortage of inspired and bold leaders in this place we call home. Putting aside a few odd flares here and there, those who led the country failed to rise to the occasion by being self-absorbed politicians with opportunism embedded in their DNA.
This is why they failed miserably as evidenced in the tragedies we have lived through in the last 58 years as well as the situation on the ground today. Among the leaders who took office following Independence, there is Demetris Christofias, the self-proclaimed Marxist/Leninist.
Last Sunday he gave an interview to Turkish Cypriot daily “Kibris” where he spoke of circles in the Greek Cypriot community who are rebuking President Nicos Anastasiades for discussing a two-state solution with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. “People who are in Mr. Anastasiades’ circle (for example, journalist Dionysis Dionysiou hailing from the conservative Disy party) are accusing him on grounds he is discussing a solution of two states,” the former president added.
This shows the political indigence of leaders who sit on the national council and yet choose to blame others rather than calling a spade a spade.
Looking for a scapegoat
As I wrote previously in this column, Disy party leader Averof Neophytou, who spoke of tsunamis ahead, had heard about it at the Presidential Palace long before other party leaders, while centre opposition leaders got wind of it last February. On the left, Akel leader Andros Kyprianou, who had heard about it from the head of another party, went public with this information and became a target of government propaganda since the President doesn’t have the guts to say it publicly.
The leadership of the entire political establishment is now on a search of a scapegoat, someone who is not favoured by the in-group who will be charged with all the things it cannot say.
Failure to dare
On the subject of being brave, dear Mr. Christofias, in fact the kind of bravery that is associated with revolutions, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just paid for his dedication to the revolution with his own life. “Dare! This word contains all the politics of our revolution,” he called out.
But in a critical moment not only did you not dare but in just one evening, while toeing the line set by Moscow, you managed to reverse what had been a crystal clear intent during the Akel convention. And you emerged with the ridiculous phrase “we vote ‘no’ so that we can cement the ‘yes’ vote.”
Fourteen years later, instead of being back to Varosha, Morphou, and 50 other villages, instead of a withdrawal of all occupying troops, you tell Turkish Cypriot journalists that “in case the Cyprus issue is not resolved, later down the road Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be faced with a very dark future.”
But where did the cement go when you were pouring concrete down the hole of the ‘no’ vote back in 2004? I have yet to see you answer this pressing question Mr. Christofias.
Sadly, comrade Christofias, this cementing business forced Cyprus to remain in the masturbation stage
Karl Marx, in his Eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach, which is also inscribed on his tombstone in London, said: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”
But you president Christofias, in the most critical hour when you should have dared to go forward with a revolutionary change that would have reunited our homeland, you heeded the distracting calls made by others and lost your nerve in changing the world.
The world changes not with theories but with action, as Marx vividly said it best: “Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex.” Sadly, comrade Christofias, this cementing business forced Cyprus to remain in the masturbation stage.
It is conceivable that you were probably planning on solving the problem when your turn to be president would come right after Tassos Papadopoulos. But we are not afforded an opportunity for revolutionary change everyday Mr. Christofias.
Life can blind the wise in their own conceit or dumb down the arrogant. It can also bring you face to face with untold tragedies that would have you in the end wishing for what Karl Marx said: “Better a miserable end than a misery without end.”
The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 6 January 2019