ATHENS – Aristide Caratzas, A Greek-American publisher, political lobbyist, and proud Greek patriot who lived mostly in Athens during the past few years passed away on June 16 after a battle with cancer, with which he was diagnosed last August, at age 69.
Caratzas was one of the chief architects of the U.S. Embargo on Turkey after that country’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
Preparing to devote himself to his academic career, Caratzas was a lecturer in history at the Universities of California (Los Angeles) and Maryland. The 1974 invasion interrupted his path though, as he devoted much of his time to Greek politics.
He owned a publishing house, Melissa International, in Scarsdale, NY and Athens. The books he published were academic in nature, mainly focusing on history, politics, and religion, and with an emphasis on Greece, Cyprus, Russia, and Turkey.
He was a well-known figure in Greece, speaking at various book presentations, primarily those held at the Hellenic American Union in Athens.
The media also covered him due to his longstanding friendship with (George) Papandreou advisor Alex Rondos, his for the participation in companies associated with the privatization of Ellinikon (Athens’ old international airport), and his investments in the Greek Military industry.
Caratzas had been suspected of spying for the Israeli and American governments, charges which he strongly denied, dismissing many of them as silly, particularly because they went against the interests of his beloved Greece.
He last spoke with TNH in March of last year.
In addition to his wife, Christiana, and members of his family, attendees at his funeral in Athens on June 17 included Rondos and his wife, HAU President Chris Spirou, Association of Greek Alumni of American Universities President Evangelos Sorogas, attorney Alexandros Lykourezos, Founder of the newly established New Right Party Failos Kranidiotis, Panteion University Professor Christodoulos Yiallourides, and Hellenic Authors’ Society Vice President George Chouliaras, among others. Former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sent a wreath of white roses. An advisor of his, economist Chrysanthos Lazarides.
TNH representatives also attended the funeral, as the newspaper offered its condolences to Aristedes, who over the years contributed to the newspaper’s op-ed pages.