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New Left Review I/94, November-December 1975


Christopher Hitchens

Détente and Destabilization: Report from Cyprus

The short-lived independence of Cyprus was always a standing reproach to the capacity of the great powers to order events. When Disraeli contrived to acquire it from the Sultan of Turkey in 1878, in exchange for some very dubious guarantees against Tsarist incursion, Gladstone described the transaction as ‘an act of duplicity not surpassed and rarely equalled in the history of nations’. Its subsequent history has provided numerous and varied illustrations of the same point—a small island with a radical and democratic tradition has been cursed by its geography and its politics, until now it has been dismembered and subordinated completely.

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