British Neocolonialism across Oceans: Chagos & Cyprus

Since the middle of last week many mass media outlets around the globe discuss the resolution of UN General Assembly (UNGA) about the Mauritius. The relevant resolution calls Great Britain to give up control over the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean. London has been occupying the Chagos Archipelago Islands unlawfully (against the will of the indigenous people) since 1965.  Ironically, it was the Harold Wilson headed Labour Government which on the 8th of November 1965 formally declared the Chagos Archipelago a UK Overseas Territory.

The recent UNGA Chagos resolution forms a landmark. A serious blow was dealt to British neocolonialism. It may herald the sunset of such era. The Cypriot President reacted warning the British to be more careful in their statements about sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. On the contrary, the Cypriot Foreign Minister adopted a rather submissive attitude on this crucial matter. Christodoulides referred to inexpediency to discuss the issue of legal regulations of British military bases in Cyprus. But when if not now?

The recent provocative statements of Sir Alan Duncan, the British Minister for European Affairs, about "disputed areas of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus" force us to reflect once again on the role of the British in the history of our long-suffering island and their true goals in Cyprus. Their meanness and indifference towards the Cypriot people began to manifest itself from the very beginning of their arrival. Even then, they tried at all costs to gain a foothold on the island. They were prepared to do anything, including organized torture of the Cypriot people, to maintain their military bases in Cyprus.

In the 1950s, when London's position in Cyprus was seriously shaken, the British skillfully metamorphosed the conflict from the format of the metropolis-colony to inter-communal confrontation. The colonial authorities, resorting to the tactics of "divide and rule", maneuvered between the two communities of the island, deliberately inciting discord between them. From this early stage, the British colonialists realized that only the constant tension in relations between the majority Greeks and the minority Turks will allow them to maintain their military presence on the island. In order to implement this plan, the British leadership has periodically added oil to the fire. Alan Duncan's statement is another cunning move aimed at aggravating the already difficult situation on the island. All of this is nothing more than another form of British neo-colonialism. When we talk about the British involvement in the settlement of the Cyprus problem, we must be clear that their objectives have remained unchanged for many decades – to maintain their presence and decisive influence on the island. Only the ways and methods of achieving these goals are changing. Therefore, there should be no illusions about the constructive contribution of London to the Cyprus settlement.

The reaction of our leaders to such provocative British actions must make us seriously concerned. Their timid statements are perceived in London with mockery. It is high time we called things with their real names. In order not to be confused as to who are our friends and who are our foes. Our leaders ought to stop paying homage to the Queen of England the very days the Cypriot people celebrate honor the memory of the heroes who gave their lives in the fight to throw the colonial yoke. Instead the Cypriot leadership should rebuff the British neo-colonialists. Even the leadership of the Lilliputian Mauritius with perseverance and dignity defends the interests of its people in the struggle for full sovereignty over the territories illegally maintained by the British colonizers. The success of this just struggle has already been consolidated by the relevant decisions of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the UN General Assembly.  Despite this, we continue to sit out and wait ... we are seized by inertia.

The British do not treat only such small states as Mauritius or Cyprus in such a condescending way. The British think they can do everything themselves, or with the help, in subordinate roles, of their former colonies. They do not think they have anything to learn from strange foreigners they know little or nothing about, who do not speak English and whose politics do not follow the British line.

They persist in imposing their neo-colonialist interests on the world through an active propaganda campaign. More specifically, it is revealed that the so-called Integrity Initiative project was founded in the UK in 2015 with the goal of interfering in the internal affairs of various European countries. The masterminds behind this project wanted to undermine any attempts that EU states could take at seeking rapprochement with countries such as Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela. The documents leaked on the internet indicate that Britain’s Foreign Office would launch subversive activities in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia and Montenegro. For instance, it turns out that the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung operating in Germany was among the beneficiaries of the Integrity Initiative, which in turn is accused of sponsoring the fascist coup d’état in Ukraine (2014).

It is curious enough that the Integrity Initiative was founded by a man called Christopher Nigel Donnelly who occupies the position of the co-director at the Institute for Statecraft. In Ukraine, Donnelly’s affiliates are known for conducting seminar on ‘the Orthodox Church as a weapon of war’. Moreover, the practical implementation of his circles’ ideas, advanced in their sermons, is the most recent provocation in the country that resulted in a split within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

In this regard, a recent Bloomberg analysis emphasizes a “visible fatigue from Anglo-Saxon lecturing” observed all across the globe; which is a sign that the English-speaking world is losing intellectual legitimacy. British propagandists would be better off getting their facts straight while they still have some readers to fool.

Another powerful tool of British neocolonialist policy is the Commonwealth. Hardly anyone can name the true goals of this organization. Only London knows them. In this regard, we would like to know what specific benefits the Cypriot people have in participating in this unipolar organization. It is worth mentioning in this regard that Ireland, which geographically forms an integral part of the British Isles, has long ago stepped out of the Commonwealth.