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Organized popular struggle against the involvement in imperialist plans, for disengagement from NATO and the EU
1. After the imperialist Second World War, the forces of US and European capitalism sought to consolidate their power over the Soviet Union, which, due to the collapse of fascism, had “triggered” positive processes in Eastern and Central Europe as well as in other parts of the world that overthrew the colonial regime. Thus, the “Western Union” was established in 1948 and the North Atlantic Alliance, i.e. NATO, was established in Washington on 4 April 1949 (with the participation of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Portugal). NATO’s main target was the Soviet Union and the states of socialist construction as well as the consolidation and defence of bourgeois power in its member states. At the same time, in the framework of NATO, the USA, as the leading force of international imperialism, sought to ease contradictions in the imperialist system.
Imperialist aggression, systematic counter-revolutionary actions, and the expansion of NATO led to the “Warsaw Pact” on 14 May 1955, which opposed Euro-Atlantic imperialism and hampered its plans.
2. The Greek bourgeoisie, which was severely tested during the heroic struggle of the Democratic Army of Greece (1946–1949), saw the establishment of NATO as an integral element of safeguarding its power. It was not “dragged” into it; on the contrary, it actively sought its accession, which was promoted at the same time as that of Turkey, ostensibly to defuse tensions between the two countries and build a “climate of security and peace”. Thus, on 17 October 1951, a protocol on the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO was signed in London. The accession agreement was ratified by the parliament on 18 February 1952, during the government of Nikolaos Plastiras–Sophocles Venizelos. The People’s Party of K. Tsaldaris, the Greek Alarm of A. Papagos and other parties sided with the government in favour of Greece joining NATO.
The United Democratic Left (EDA) voted against the bill, while the KKE, which was in clandestine conditions, denounced the accession with the Decision of the 2nd Plenary Session of 1951.
The country’s accession to NATO was a class choice of the bourgeoisie and its parties providing an aggressive mechanism against the socialist system as well as against the working class and the popular strata in Greece. In addition, the accession confirmed the direction of the international “alliances” of the bourgeoisie reflected in the doctrines of “we belong to the West” and the “danger from the north”, which the bourgeois parties have been supporting through the years.
From the accession to NATO until today, the bourgeoisie and its parties (e.g. the National Radical Union (ERE) and the Centre Union in the pre-dictatorship period, the ND, PASOK, and SYRIZA) either in government or in opposition try to falsify the historical truth, to impose the bourgeois perception of the establishment of NATO, the accession of Greece in this imperialist hornets’ nest, and the expansion of the US–NATO bases on the people and the youth.
3. Seven decades after the accession of Greece and Turkey to NATO, the experience accumulated by the peoples of Greece and Turkey shows that the expectations of “peace”, “security”, and “democracy”, which were supposedly guaranteed for the peoples “within NATO’s walls”, have not come true. On the contrary; NATO proved to be complicit in the military coups in both countries. NATO proved to be a source of confrontations since it does not recognize national borders and, together with the USA, which maintains supremacy in it, takes on the role of the arbitrator and in fact supports the claims that the Turkish bourgeoisie increasingly promotes against the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus. The dirty role played by Euro-Atlantic imperialism in the coup in Cyprus and the Turkish invasion and occupation has been confirmed, leading the then Greek bourgeois government under Konstantinos Karamanlis to withdraw from the military wing of NATO on 14 August 1974, only to return again six years later and just 70 days before Greece’s accession in the EEC on 19 October 1980, in order to mitigate popular reactions and stabilize the bourgeois political parties after the fall of the junta.
4. Today, NATO remains the political–military arm of Euro-Atlantic imperialism. It is no longer faced with the USSR and the other countries of socialist construction but other major powers of the modern capitalist world such as China, which threatens the US supremacy in the global imperialist system, or Russia, which possesses a powerful nuclear arsenal comparable to that of the USA, the know-how, and the means to modernize its political–military power. These powers are considered to be competitors by EU–US imperialism, as can be seen from NATO’s “strategic concept”, which describes the objectives and the means serving them to make this imperialist alliance more effective against the peoples and more capable in imperialist competition.
NATO’s strategy is characterized by planned expansion across the globe, enlargement with new members and the establishment of partnerships with dozens of states, and the formation of combat-ready military units. A plan is being promoted that targets Russia, Iran, and China. The formation of infantry, air, and naval units, fully equipped to intervene in 30 days on any front chosen by the NATO headquarters (four 30s), serves this exact goal.
At the same time, there are growing contradictions within NATO between the USA and Germany or the USA and France or France and Germany, as well as other important contradictions such as the ones between Turkey and France or Turkey and Greece. So far, these contradictions have been settled by various temporary compromises, often by means of tension easing; however, their tangle is becoming increasingly complicated, while the functionality and dynamics of the imperialist alliance are challenged even by bourgeois political forces and analysts.
5. The position expressed by various opportunistic circles that NATO is a “US tool for the oppression of Europe” and that Greece and other countries are in a state of “subordination” due to NATO is deeply erroneous. The truth is that imperialist alliances such as NATO, the EU, and others emerging today e.g. in the region of Eurasia, in Latin America, and in the Pacific, are transnational agreements among bourgeois states (powerful or less powerful ones), both of those at the top of the imperialist pyramid and those who occupy a lower position that overall express the interests of monopolies, secure their sovereignty, and take part —depending on their economic, political, and military power— in the competition that marks the functioning of the international imperialist system.
The analysis that limits imperialism, for example, only in the aggressive foreign policy of the USA or NATO and excludes the other capitalist states and alliances, turns a blind eye to the infallible Leninist criterion, the domination of monopolies, the economic basis of imperialism. This analysis is based on the unequal relations formed by the uneven development of the system, it justifies and sanctifies the bourgeoisie in some states and the role of the bourgeois states that express its interests. Monopolies do not relinquish their rights, they move independently or become intertwined, they unite and claim in every way to gain advantages and a new field in their action, to improve their position, something which is expressed in the role of bourgeois states, which, in one way or another, participate or connect with imperialist alliances to claim part of the loot and take control of markets and wealth-producing resources in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. Opportunist parties or groups that revise the Leninist principles end up in very dangerous political paths, pander to the bourgeoisie, expect to overcome unequal relations and dependencies within the capitalist system that causes them in a utopian manner. They resort to political collaborations with bourgeois parties, participate in or support bourgeois governments that adopt the line of enhancing the role of the bourgeoisie and its state.
6. We also examine the role of Greece in NATO plans through the above prism. The Greek bourgeoisie is pursuing an aggressive strategy, it has set aggressive goals which are served by the ND government and other governing parties, such as SYRIZA, KINAL and other parties that promote its interests, seeking the country’s deeper integration with NATO and EU strategy and strengthening relations with the USA. The main criterion of their policy is the “geostrategic enhancement” in the interest of the major financial groups through the promotion of NATO, US, and EU plans, which is apparent in the economic and domestic policy as well as in international and regional relations.
Being a NATO member for 70 years, an EEC member for 42 years, and an EU member for 30 years, Greece adapts to the demands of these imperialist alliances and actively participates in Euro-Atlantic missions abroad, in imperialist wars and interventions. The people pay a heavy price of more than 4 billion euros a year. In the past 10 years, the people have paid more than 50 billion euros for NATO needs, for armaments that have nothing to do with the country’s defence.
The US–NATO bases in Greece, which have developed over time under the responsibility of all bourgeois governments and parties, are being modernized, possess nuclear weapons infrastructure, threaten other peoples, turn the country into a target and constitute a “launch pad” for new wars and bloodshed to the people’s detriment. The SYRIZA government, through the “strategic dialogue” with the USA, paved the way for the new agreement on the Greece–US bases signed by the ND government in 2019, for the enhancement of Souda, and for new bases in Alexandroupolis, Stefanovikeio, and Larissa, which, due to the agreement recently signed between the ND government and the USA, are further strengthened and extended indefinitely. US–NATO forces are being deployed to Eastern Europe through the Alexandroupolis military base to encircle Russia. Greece is becoming more entangled in imperialist competition.
7. The basic propaganda doctrine of the bourgeois parties and the bourgeois state claiming that through the strengthening of relations with the US, NATO, and the EU conditions are being formed to defend the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the country against the claims of the Turkish bourgeoisie has been proved false through several events. Greece and Turkey are NATO allies. Both bourgeois states and their governments, despite any frictions, jointly implement NATO decisions against the peoples, cooperate and compete to enhance the position of their financial groups, to obtain a bigger share of the loot of imperialist interventions and wars.
8. Today everything points to the need to struggle for the overthrow of capitalist barbarism, which condemns workers to class exploitation, social injustice, and imperialist wars. The KKE, which over the years has striven and continues to strive with all its might to “turn the wheel of history”, is at the forefront of the development of the anti-imperialist and anti-war movement, against the US–NATO military bases, for the disengagement from imperialist plans and alliances such as NATO and the EU. Today, against the backdrop of the sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions, this popular movement must become more widespread, to embrace more workers’–people’s forces, to be replete with the contemporary content of the anti-imperialist struggle. For our country, disengagement from NATO and any imperialist union is a key priority for the workers’ and people’s movement, and, as history has shown, it can be irreversible and in favour of the interests of the people with the strong guarantee of workers’ power.
All efforts must be directed towards this goal!
– US–NATO bases must be immediately closed down!
– No Greek soldiers and military officers outside of the country’s borders. All Greek armed forces participating in imperialist missions abroad must return home!
– No participation of Greece in imperialist plans!
– Disengagement from the imperialist NATO–EU unions, with our people masters in their own land!
The Political Bureau of the CC of the KKE