A Call for Your Vote: Democrats, Independents, and Republicans Alike

There are five issues of concern to the Greek-American community, with respect to U.S. foreign policy:

1. Cyprus
2. Ecumenical Patriarchate
3. Albania
4. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
5. Recognition of the Anatolian (Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian) genocide

For the most part, these are long-standing issues for whose resolutions many prominent Greek-American individuals and organizations have lobbied repeatedly. Executive Director Nick Larigakis of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) in Washington (http://www.ahiworld.org) has recently summarized goals for some of these issues and encapsulated pertinent background information in a press release distributed internationally, which is reproduced following the survey for the benefit of HCS readers. The goals for these issues are succinct: in brief, it is in the best long-term interests of the U.S. in the Balkan peninsula and southeastern Europe to

1. support a just and lasting resolution to the Cyprus conflict that applies American values and democratic standards, including the rule of law, majority rule and protection of minority and human rights;

2. support safeguarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul and the reopening of the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology which was illegally closed in 1971;

3. act to ensure that Albania observes the rule of law and protects minority rights for its significant Greek population; and

4. support a name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) that does not include the word "Macedonia."

5. support for the recognition that over a million Greeks, together with 1.5 million Armenians and 700.000 Assyrians were victims of the genocide which took place in Anatolia starting in 1908 when the Neo-Turks took over?

1. As a registered voter, are all or any of these issues—Cyprus, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Albania, and FYROM—important to you?



2. Would the positions of candidates on any of these issues influence your vote in the upcoming November presidential election?



3. Do you know the positions of President George Bush, Senator John Kerry, and Mr. Ralph Nader on these four issues (Cyprus, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Albania, and FYROM)? Yes/No

4. If you do not know the positions of the three major presidential candidates on the four key issues (Cyprus, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Albania, and FYROM), would you like to learn what are their positions?

5. Keeping in mind that media commentators and experts identify several issues as critical to U.S. voters, namely, the state of the economy, education, the environment, health care, and security, among others, would you consider voting for a presidential candidate based on his views on the four issues important to Greek-Americans (Cyprus, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Albania, and FYROM)? Yes/No

6. To which political party do you belong? Democratic, Independent, Republican, Other (Specify)
Other (specify)

7. Are you aware that over a million Greeks, together with 1.5 million Armenians and 700.000 Assyrians were victims of the genocide which took place in Anatolia starting in 1908 when the Neo-Turks took over?

8. In which state are you legally registered to vote?

9. Would you consider writing a letter to one of the major presidential candidates?

10. Are you aware of the existence of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues?

11. Is your Representative a member of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus? See 108th Congress Hellenic Caucus list co-chaired by Carolyn B. Maloney and Michael Bilirakis at:

12. If not, do you consider the Hellenic issues important for you to encourage your U.S. Representative to join the Congressional Hellenic Caucus and will you do so?

Other suggested questions or comments (specify):

HCS would like to thank all persons who participate in this online survey. Results will be posted on the HCS website on or about September 30, 2004.
Background (from the American Hellenic Institute)

As a presidential candidate, Governor Jimmy Carter had specifically endorsed UNGA Res. 3212, stating that "Peace must be based on the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3212 of 1 November 1974 endorsed by Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, calling among other things for the removal of all foreign military forces from Cyprus."

Carter further said that the U.S. must work "to insure the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus," that Greek Cypriot refugees should be allowed "to return to their homes," that the "United States must pursue a policy based on principle and in accord with the rule of law" and that "If I am elected president I intend to enforce and carry out the provisions of my statement" in a speech on September 16, 1976 delivered in Washington, DC. President Carter reneged on his campaign positions in the early months of his presidency.

Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan stated that President Carter had "reneged on his campaign pledges" regarding Cyprus. Candidate Reagan stated:

The tragic situation in Cyprus has lasted six years. It must not continue. . .Cypriot refugees, be they Greek or Turkish, should be permitted to return to their homes and land. I support the full implementation of unanimously Approved United States Resolution 3212 of November 1974 which 'Calls Upon all States to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus and to refrain from all acts and intervention directed against it; Urges the speedy withdrawal of all foreign armed forces and foreign military presence and personnel from the Republic of Cyprus and the cessation of all foreign interference in its affairs.' –Reagan-Bush Committee news release, September 26, 1890

President Reagan did not follow through on his campaign statement.

Presidential candidate Vice President George H. W. Bush made the following statement on July 7, 1988:

We seek for Cyprus a constitutional democracy based on majority rule, the rule of law, and the protection of minority rights. . . .I want to see a democratic Cyprus free from the threat of war.—George H. W. Bush, July 8, 1988, Boston speech

President Bush elevated the Cyprus issue to the White House level and thought that he had a deal among the parties. At a Paris conference in late 1991, Turkey reneged on the deal.

Presidential candidate Governor Bill Clinton issued the following statement on October 2, 1992:

In this world of extraordinary change, it is tragic that a just solution to the Cyprus problem remains elusive. Since 1974 the northern part of Cyprus has been under Turkish military occupation. The United States has a moral obligation as well as a national security interest to see that this illegal occupation of Cyprus comes to an end. The United States and the world community will not accept the permanent division of Cyprus. The search for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem must be vigorously pursued. Such a Cyprus settlement should be consistent with the fundamental principles of human rights and democratic norms and practices. Accordingly, a Cyprus settlement can be just and viable only if it provides for the withdrawal of Turkish occupation forces; satisfactorily accounts for all Americans and Greek Cypriots missing since 1974; provides for the rights of refugees; ensures the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of the state; and establishes a democratic constitution which respects and guarantees the rights of both communities.

I will give the Cyprus issue a high foreign policy priority in my administration and, working with the European Community and the United Nations, I will press hard for a lasting solution to the tragedy of Cyprus. Such a solution will serve not only the best interests of Cyprus, but also the best interests of our allies, Greece and Turkey, and above all, the best interests of the United States.

President Clinton did not follow through on his campaign statement. At a fundraiser in 1996 he told Greek-Americans, in response to a question, that he would not pressure Turkey.

Also pertinent is the Eisenhower Doctrine of applying the rule of law to friend and opponent alike. In the Suez crisis of 1956, President Eisenhower stated:

There can be no peace without law. And there can be no law if we were to invoke one code of international conduct for those who oppose us and another for our friends.

Eisenhower reversed the aggression by economic and political pressure without firing a shot. There should be no economic aid to Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots until Turkey removes its armed forces and settlers from Cyprus and tears down the Green Line barbed wire fence.

Also pertinent is the Bush-Gorbachev doctrine that "aggression cannot and will no pay," as set forth in their joint statement in Helsinki on September 9, 1990 regarding Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

[HCS has posted several articles about this issue: AHEPA Presents Cyprus Reconciliation Forum (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/cyprusforum.html); AHEPA UN Plan Provides Hope for Future of Cyprus (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/021204news_ahepa_annan.html); The World Cannot Tolerate at Divided Cyprus (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/dividedcyprus.html); USA Today Calls Illegal Invasion of Cyprus a "Feud" Between Greeks and Turks (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/cyprus.html) –HCS publishers]


The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul is the spiritual center for more than 270 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, including approximately 5 million in the United States. In accordance with U.S. law expressed in Section 2804 of the Fiscal Year 1999 Appropriations Bill, the U.S. must demand that the Turkish government safeguard the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its personnel, and its property, and to reopen the Halki Patriarchal School of Theology, illegally closed in 1971.

[HCS has posted several articles about this issue: Archon Leaders Return from Patriarchate and Meetings in Ankara (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/ecumenicalpatriarch.htm#archonleaders); Will The Theological School at Halki Be Reopened? (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/halki.html)--HCS publishers]


To insure the interest of maintaining peace and stability in the southern Balkans, the U.S. should seek to undertake an intense diplomatic dialogue with the government of Albania to ensure that the rule of law is observed and minority and basic human rights are protected. The U.S. must make clear that Albania must treat its minorities fairly and humanely the way it wants Albanian minorities in neighboring countries to be treated.

Although Albania successfully sought a census to measure the Albanian minority in neighboring FYROM, its government resists the demand of the European Union to measure its minorities, so it can continue to claim that the Greek minority is small when it constitutes at least 10 percent of the country's 3.5 million population.


The U.S. should support a name for this Yugoslav republic that does not include the word "Macedonia." Since antiquity, the name Macedonia has referred to a geographical region, not to a nationality.

When Marshal Tito fashioned the puppet "Socialist Republic of Macedonia" from the southern Yugoslav province of Vardar-Banovina in 1945, he did so to foment disorder in northern Greece in furtherance of his plan to communize the Balkan peninsula and gain control of the key port city of Salonica. "Macedonian" nationalism was a product of Tito's fabrications. The then U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius in a circular airgram to diplomatic officers on December 26, 1944 wrote:

This Government considers talk of Macedonian 'nation,' Macedonian 'Fatherland,' or Macedonian 'national consciousness' to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic or political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece.

The Truman Doctrine and massive financial aid under the Marshall Plan foiled Tito's hopes for communizing Greece.

We respectfully seek your views on these issues. If you should have any questions or need additional information, please have your staff contact me.

/s/ Nick Larigakis
Nick Larigakis
Executive Director
American Hellenic Institute

[The Pan-Macedonian Association, Inc., a prominent Greek-American organization in the U.S., has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this issue about appropriating the name "Macedonia.". See their website http://www.macedonia.info . Hellenic Communication Service has also posted a number of articles relating to this issue, all of which can be found on the site archives: AHI's Letter to Secretary of State Powell Calls for New US-FYROM Agreement (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/macedonialetter.html); Greek-American Groups Lobby, Educate About Macedonian History (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/macedonianhistory.html) ;International Campaign Regarding FYROM's Permanent Name (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/internationalcampaign.html) ;US Reference to Macedonia Spurs Protest (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/macedoniadiplomaticprotest.html) ; and What's in a Name? (http://www.helleniccomserve.com/whatsinaname.html) --HCS publishers]