Our Times 3

The effect of imperialism on Greece


The series of events that occurred from 1941-1949 and 1965-1974 give rise to Greece’s current state today. The complicated and dramatic course of the war and civil war in Greece has, for lack of parties interested in reconstructing the truth of events, has never before been narrated in full. I am a direct descendent of the ELAS (Greek Peoples Liberation Army). I have relied on testimony painstakingly collected from survivors of this tragedy.

In 1941 the fascist invaders of Mussolini’s Army (under Hitler’s orders) invaded Greece. On the Greek side stood “the common man” who formed and organized ELAS (The Greek Peoples Liberation Army). The ELAS crushed the Italian forces and drove them back into the Albanian mountains. Hitler immediately countered and ran through Greece, occupying the country. ELAS continued to fight the invader (German and Italian forces) and if this wasn’t enough, Winston Churchill and his imperialist forces decided to get into the act. Churchill formed and funded a second Greek resistance army called EDES. EDES was primarily collaborators working along with the German and Italian forces. ELAS successfully defended Greece and took back their country. The Greek people had hoe and optimism for a new country of freedom. The Greek people set free elections for a new government of the people’s choice. Churchill strongly opposed this idea and insisted that Greece fall under monarchist rule. Thus installing the King (King Constantine). The Greek people protested saying “this is our country, we want to select our own government”. The government to be elected was a socialist government and this did not sit well with Churchill and the imperialist monarcho-fascists. Churchill retaliated with his private militia army (EDES) and created a civil war. Brother against brother. The worst type of war!!! And thus it begins. At the centre of the stage for Greece was ELAS. The freedom fighters who organized in the Greek mountains. Their leader was Aris Velouchiotis (a bearded warrior who prefigured Che Guevara). Ranged against the freedom fighters are a series of foreign powers representing the succession of imperial hegemony in the Eastern Mediterranean: First the German and Italian occupation, then the British who pursued the objective, both during and after the war, under Tory and Labour Ministers alike, of restoring to power the monarchist right, and finally together with British, the Americans, who entered the fray with the Truman doctrine of 1947 and made Greece a “laboratory” for experiments with napalm (which incidentally was the first place napalm was used. On Greek civilians and later to be used in Vietnam) chemical & incendiary defoliants and barbed wire compounds. the role of the Soviet Union in all this was defined in the Moscow Accord or as it is written in Churchill’s memoirs” “the agreement of percentages”, which was drafted by Churchill and signed by Stalin. The accord gave Britain and the US 90% dominance in Greece after the war!! The ELAS army had successfully crushed Churchill’s imperial army. However, they were no match for the entire Imperial monarcho fascist forces of US, Britain and Germany.

In 1949, the Britain and the US entered Greece and installed a right-wing fascist government. The Greek people suffered. Famine ensued and over 800,000 Greek men, women and children died. Churchill strengthened his militia EDES forces by putting C.M. Woodouse in charge. Woodhouse was later knighted by the Queen. Woodhouse has written various books on the Greek civil war and every one them has an extreme right-wing slant. Woodhouse landed in Greece by parachute and was found and rescued by my family. As my uncle (former ELAS column captain) puts it: “Woodhouse was found in the fetal position behind a rock. He was crying uncontrollably and his pants were soiled. Woodhouse was rescued by ELAS and nurtured back to good health. Woodhouse left the ELAS camp and reported immediately to the fascist EDES camp. He (Woodhouse) gave up the position of the ELAS camp and a massacre of ELAS soldiers followed.

ELAS was also responsible for one of turning points of WWll. On November 25 1942, led by ELAS captain, Aris Velouchiotis along with 115 Greek Liberation soldiers (my uncles were in this group), explosives were planted and the Gorgopotamos bridge was destroyed. This was a key event in history as it created delays for German supplies and weapons. The Gorgopotamos bridge was used as passage by the German army transporting supplies, weapons to Athens en route to Africa. This forced Hitler to pull soldiers from Russia and send them to Greece. Another key victory for the socialist army of ELAS!

Greece remained under Imperial rule throughout the 1950’s. Socialist and especially communist political parties were outlawed and deemed illegal. In 1963 a strong socialist movement was forming. The Greek people had enough! In May 1963 the great Greek socialist patriot and pacifist leader Dr. Gregory Lambrakis was murdered in Salonika by right-wing conservative fascists (for fear that a new socialist government was forming). 400,000 men and women mourning in silence followed Lambrakis`s body to the grave. For months after the assassination (and even today) on walls all over Greece there appears the letter ‘Z’ (translation: He Lives!!). Novels followed on Lambrakis, underground socialist movements were organized called Lambrakidis. Subsequently a motion picture was released called “Z” and won the Jury prize at the Cannes International Film Festival.

In 1965, George Papandreou (head of the centre union) moved to fire the defence minister and assume the post himself. King Constantine (under American and British influence) refused to endorse this move and essentially forced Papandreou`s resignation and issued a warrant for his arrest! The public was outraged and Greece entered a period of political polarization and instability. The imperialists played their cards perfectly. A CIA backed military junta was created from April 21 1967 - August 6 1974. In that time period Greek men and women who showed any support to a socialist party or who fought for ELAS for the freedom of their country were all arrested and deported to deserted islands (most notable Makronisos) where heinous and unspeakable acts of human experimentation and torture occurred. On a personal note, I remember visiting Greece in 1971 with my family and relatives. At customs and immigration we presented our passports and I vividly remember the officer asking my uncle if he was a member of the ELAS army. My uncles was dumbfounded. He responded “yes, I served my country in 1941-1949”. The officers restrained my uncle in handcuffs and escorted him to prison where he has tortured and interrogated by American and Greek officers. I always thought that soldiers whom fought and defended their country were honoured, not experimented on like lab rats…

The military junta was overthrown in 1974 and a conservative government was in place until 1981. From 1981 - 1989 Andreas Papandreou (PASOK, Socialist Party) was elected. Papandreou took publicly a neutral stance on the cold war and wished for Greece to be more independent from the USA. he also criticized the massive presence of American military and CIA in Greece. During this time period Greece prospered. The socialist government expanded health care coverage (the National Health System was instituted), funding social establishments for the elderly, schooling became free of charge for everyone, hospitals were built, the “old families” were driven out, which influenced Greek politics from behind the scenes and belong to the right wing American and Greek government. A military pension was established and paid to all Greek men and women of ELAS (Greek People`s Liberation Army) of 1941-1949. On a side note, the military pension was the first thing abolished when the right-wing conservative government took power after Papandreou. Now, can you imagine today, right here in Canada if our government abolished the military pension plan for retired soldiers and vets. Think of the consequences! Think of the scandal!!

Today Greece is under the European Union and follows a common currency (Euro). She is under right-wing conservative control. I look at Greece today and shed a tear as she drowns in debt, high unemployment, corruption at all levels of the conservative government, privatization much like Mike Harris did when he destroyed Ontario, an overabundance of US military basis, continuous problems with US soldiers terrorizing the Greek people. However, the Greek people have been at war since the beginning of time; they know how to combat monarcho-fascist Yankee terrorism. The riots, protests and strikes are only the beginning. Greece managed to defeat terrorists like Churchill, Hitler and their lap dogs. The Yankee occupation will be a piece of cake.

My message to all the people fighting for freedom and equality and peace….

My message to imperialism, monarcho fascism is this; In the words of the legendary icon, Ernesto Che Guevara – Venceremos! Patria O Muerte!! (Translation: We will win! Homeland or death!!!)


Delivering Community Power CUPW 2022-2023

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