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16 October, 2019
 
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The extent of betrayal

Connecting the dots between yesterday’s amnesty and today’s immunity from prosecution

Andreas Paraschos

Andreas Paraschos

Forty-five years later and every July 15 we gather those tormenting images that overwhelm our emotions – talk about the amazing human brain. This goes back to the extent of the stench of blood that was drying on my clothes and skin and breathed out the horrible smell of death, which makes me sick to this day.

Forty-five whole years later and the image of dead bodies stacked onto a semi-trailer dump cart with watermelons has stuck with me, tormenting me every single time that the hot Cypriot sun splits July in two.

The other day, when I saw the programme layout for the Mari explosion commemorative event, I thought to myself that each July there is a shadow of fear over the possibility of another tragedy, July 11 – Mari, July 15 – fascist coup, July 20 – Turkish invasion. I had a dream, a nightmare rather one night, where I was trying to sell July as if it was a commodity at a livestock market in Agios Georgios Kontos, a green area filled with cedar trees where my grandfather used to take me to see the animals.

I woke up drenched in sweat, but this sweat was more like rain cleansing so my mind was soaked in it and things became clear. And so I was sure about what I needed to do.

Who got punished for the military coup? Who got punished in the Milosevic scandal, stock exchange scandal, the haircut? Who got punished for the cooperative bank’s credit unions?

Every day I have to mount a coup, an overthrow, or if you want it spelled out in its leftist version, a revolution. Why? Because the lack of accountability, impunity, and immunity make up an obscene triplet that still rules the day on this poor little miserable place.

The biggest crime against Cyprus in its modern history is undoubtedly the events of 1974, the combination of a coup and an invasion that still continue to this day. In December 1974, returning president archbishop Makarios, acting just like an emperor, declared amnesty with his olive branch policy as forgave all those who took part in the coup one way or another which resulted to the Turkish army landing on Cyprus. The dead came to 4000 if one counts both the missing and the fallen.

But the difference this time was that the occupier of this island, out of so many conquerors who have passed through here, forced some 200,000 people out of their homes, not temporarily in my opinion, because the crime was kept alive by the Greek Cypriot leadership throughout these 45 years.

Amnesty for coup d’état participants of that era, combined with immunity for “coupists” in the period that came right after, has brought immunity to a large caste of people. This so-called “high profile” social group uses the legislative branch to turn trickery and wizardry into enacted laws, all the while ravaging the natural wealth of this land and obliterating the potential of the average Joe to produce surplus value because those who have a name have a hold on the economic and political goings-on.

Add it all up

And not only this, but they also enjoy a conspicuous immunity in such a way that they would never be held accountable for anything. To use specific examples, I ask: Who got punished for the military coup? Who got punished in the Milosevic scandal? Who got punished for the stock exchange scandal? Who got punished for the haircut? Who got punished for the cooperative bank’s credit unions?

And add to all this the billions that were pocketed by those who are immune to prosecution, whose victims paid dearly with their life or loss of property or even at the expense of a job or salary, and you can begin to understand what and to what extent has been this betrayal of the people.

So if you want to change this place at the core, in the name of our children and grandchildren, we have to go up against the establishment everyday where ever you are confronted with it. Starting from those who park in handicap accessible spaces all the way to those who use their political connections to disable an entire people.

 

The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 14 July 2019

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Paraschos  |  coup  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  politics  |  corruption  |  opinion  |  critique  |  1974  |  impunity  |  amnesty  |  Makarios  |  invasion

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