Communist Party of Spain M-L (PCE M-L)
“Our Party is a proletarian party, a Marxist-Leninist party, an active participant in the world revolution, for which it is determined to make any sacrifice, just as it has done up till now." (Imperialism and the Revolution, Tirana, 1979)
The role of the individual in history is not always taken into account, is underestimated or belittled. It is not a matter of always subordinating processes to the individual, to the personality, making him the central or decisive motor without whom this process could not been resolved in the same way, of course not. But one can also not ignore or underestimate the importance of certain persons in the development of historical circumstances.
It is clear that the role of these personalities is not just a personal labor: without the support, without the conscious and active participation of other individuals, groups and organizations taking part in the same action, the individual, no matter how valuable his personality may be, is powerless to lead the undertaking to success, or only momentarily. The history of the revolutionary movement provides clear evidence of what we state. Marx and Engels understood this and made use of the existing social movements, but they also understood better than anyone else the need to provide these movements with an ideology and organizational means consistent with the existing social situation and the demands, not only of the moment, but from the perspective of historical development.
To analyze, understand, judge (if we dare to do so) a personality who has played an outstanding role, one cannot do so isolated from the national, and also international, political context, with all the variations that can occur.
It is in this political and ideological context in which the figure of Enver Hoxha stands, as a communist and leader for his role in extremely difficult historical moments, in which he knew how and had the courage to stand up against the Khrushchevite betrayal and the servile subjection of traitors of the like of Carrillo in Spain and other leaders in France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, etc.
Before this situation, Enver and the Albanian communists (organized in various local and regional groups)1 carried out the resolute task of organizing the struggle against the imperialist rule of Italy and the servile subjection of Zog, for the liberation and independence of their country.
The Albanian people waged a heroic struggle, first against Mussolini’s troops, which they defeated, and then against the Hitlerites, who were also hard hit.
“In 1939, while Europe stood by in silence, our country’s sons were falling on the field of honour for a just cause which, before long, would become the cause of all mankind. “ Years later, in fighting against the Nazi invaders, the Hitlerites, the National Liberation Army had received an order “not to let the Germans cross Albania’s borders, but to annihilate them on Albanian territory. This was how we understood the great anti-fascist alliance, the pursuit of the German troops outside our borders, in the Yugoslav territory of Montenegro, Herzegovina..."2
As is known, Albania was liberated by its own forces, without external aid. Moreover, the Albanian guerrillas fought and achieved admirable victories against the Nazi-fascist aggressors in Yugoslavia.
Despite the existence of oppressed Albanian minorities in Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro, the Albanian communists did not demand the annexation of those areas. The position of Enver Hoxha is well known, in recommending that once the war was over the problem “would be resolved between the Yugoslav comrades and ourselves”. But reality was very different, the Titoites not only refused to consider the question, but launched attacks and slander against the CPA [Communist Party of Albania] (later the PLA [Party of Labor of Albania]), accusing them of plotting against the Yugoslav government and its party, of trying to create a Greater Albania... In no Albanian document does any such demand appear, and moreover, the Albanians limited themselves to asking for, for example for Kosovo, the Status of Autonomy and that it have federal status, which is at odds with the notion of a “Greater Albania.”
In full struggle against Titoism (which Khrushchev surreptitiously supported), Enver Hoxha declared in the Moscow International Conference in 1960:
“The Yugoslavs accuse us of allegedly being chauvinists [...] and of demanding a rectification of the Albanian-Yugoslav borders. [...] We are not chauvinists, we have neither demanded nor demand rectification of boundaries. But what we demand and will continually demand from the Titoites [...] is that they give up perpetrating the crime of genocide against the Albanian minority in Kosova and Metohia, that they give up the white terror against the Albanians of Kosova, that they give up driving the Albanians from their native soil and deporting them ‘en masse ‘ to Turkey. We demand that the rights of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia should be recognized according to the Constitution of the People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."3
At this conference the Party of Labour of Albania, in E.H.’s speech, denounced the revisionist and arrogant positions of Khrushchev and his team, the distortion of the correct policy of principles defined by Lenin.
“...this principle of Lenin’s [peaceful coexistence] is the basis of the entire foreign policy of our people’s State. Peaceful coexistence between two opposing systems does not imply, as the modern revisionists claim, that we should give up the class struggle. On the contrary, the class struggle must continue; the political and ideological struggle against imperialism, against bourgeois and revisionist ideology, should become ever more intense. [...] This question has been clear and it was not necessary for Comrade Khrushchev to confuse it in the 20th Congress, and do so in such a way as to please the opportunists. Why was it necessary to resort to so many parodies of Lenin’s clear theses and the October Socialist Revolution?”
The struggle against Titoism and its manoeuvres against the PLA was harsh. The correct positions of the Albanian communists, after the death of Stalin, who always supported the PLA, ran into attacks hatched by Khrushchev and his men, who pressed for the PLA to give in and stop this just struggle of ideological and political principles. The manoeuvres of the Titoites were already shameless and they tried by all means to undermine the PLA, recruiting some agents among the Albanian leaders, who were discovered and eliminated.4
In his speech at the Moscow Conference, as well as in various meetings with other delegations, the representatives of the PLA headed by E. Hoxha (Mehmet Shehu, Hysni Kapo and Ramiz Alia) had to respond to attacks and criticisms of all kinds. Among the leading critics were Ibarruri, Thorez, Togliatti and other European leaders, among them the Greeks who together with the Yugoslavs plotted to divide up Albania.5 The repeated attacks against Stalin, which Khrushchev “began” in his “Secret” Report to the 20th Congress of the CPSU, were also refuted by the PLA delegation.
Here are some excerpts of Comrade Enver about Stalin in his speech at the Conference:
“It has been said that J. V Stalin was mistaken in assessing the Yugoslav revisionists. [... ] Our Party has never endorsed such a view, because time and experience have proven the contrary. Stalin made a very correct assessment of the danger of the Yugoslav revisionists [...] Not only is this stand of the Soviet comrades [referring to the Khrushchevites] to be condemned but it is also incomprehensible. [... ] We know that many documents are kept locked away and are not brought to light, documents that expose the barbarous activity of Tito’s group in the Hungarian events. Why this should happen we do not understand. [...] To condemn Stalin after his death, the most trifling items were searched out, while the documents that expose a vile traitor like Tito are locked away in a drawer.”
“Let us take the question of the criticism of Stalin and his work. Our Party, as a Marxist-Leninist one, is fully aware that the cult of the individual is an alien and dangerous manifestation for the parties. [...] Looking at it from this angle, we fully agree that the cult of the individual, Stalin, should be criticized as a dangerous manifestation in the life of the party. [...] Stalin was severely and unjustly condemned on this question by Comrade Khrushchev and the 20th Congress. “<> “The Party of Labour of Albania maintained a realistic stand on the question of Stalin. It was correct and grateful towards this glorious Marxist against whom, while he was alive, there was no one among us ‘brave enough ‘ to come out and criticize, but when he was dead a great deal of mud was thrown. [...] The Party of Labour of Albania thinks that it is not right, normal or Marxist, to blot out Stalin’s name and great work from all this epoch, as it is actually being done. We should all defend the good and immortal work of Stalin. He who does not defend it is an opportunist and a coward."6 >
One of the characteristics of Enver Hoxha, of the leaders of the PLA, was always the courage to present and defend their positions and opinions, without being frightened by the threats or force of their opponent. This was demonstrated at the end of the World War, when the English fleet tried to anchor in Albania and the Tirana government gave them an ultimatum to leave the Albanian waters. In the struggle against Titoism, they showed the same firmness, and also against Khrushchevite revisionism and the leaders of the parties that submitted to Khrushchev and Co. such as Ibarruri-Carrillo, Thorez, etc. In these struggles Enver Hoxha distinguished himself, and with him other comrades such as Mehmet Shehu, Hysni Kapo, etc.
Later they had to face the leaders of the CP of China and its nationalist and chauvinist positions, for example, the aberrant theory of the “Three Worlds”
“By negating the class struggle, the Chinese theory of ‘three worlds ‘ also negates the struggle of the peoples to free themselves from foreign domination, to win democratic rights and freedoms, negates their struggle for socialism. This counterrevolutionary and anti-scientific theory rules out the struggle of the peoples against their enemies – imperialism, social-imperialism and the entire international big bourgeoisie."7
One can say that the work of Enver Hoxha, both politically and ideologically as well as in practice, is marked by proletarian internationalism. We insist on “practice” because there are attitudes, then and now, of parties and forces that speak volumes about internationalism and international solidarity, but it is all reduced to verbiage, to pontificating phraseology, to expressing generous feelings that reflect the adage that “the wind blows away words, but facts remain.”
The experience of our Party throughout its fifty years of existence corroborates and confirms the truly internationalist attitude of the PLA, an attitude which we knew corresponding to the extent of our forces, like other Marxist-Leninist parties. We state with full knowledge of the facts that the PLA always continued to establish and strengthen fraternal relations with the Marxist-Leninist parties, relations of sincere collaboration and mutual aid, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, of proletarian internationalism and of the struggle against imperialism and revisionism.
The attitude of the PLA in its problems with the Titoites, with the provocations of different parties, always based itself on the maintenance and defence of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, rejecting opportunism and revisionism, not accepting the unwritten but applied theory of the “father party”, the party that leads the others, which must submit themselves and accept the dictates of the father party... The PTA always placed proletarian internationalism as an essential principle. This becomes clear when re-reading Enver Hoxha’s speech at the Conference of 81 parties; in its texts and conferences, particularly at the 7th Congress (in November of 1976) where the PLA, through Enver, clearly and firmly stated its positions and criticized the opportunist policy of the C.P. of China.
In his “Reflections on China” Enver wrote: “We are opposed to the views of the Communist Party of China about the ‘third world’, because they are anti-Marxist, revisionist views. [...] The main points of our opposition to the Chinese are over issues which are closely linked with one another: over the question of the ‘third world’, over the stand which should be maintained towards the two superpowers, and over ‘proletarian internationalism’, that is, over the strengthening of the unity of the Marxist-Leninist communist parties.”
We conclude this article with an event that is very close to our Party: On September 27, 1975, the Franco government shot three members of our party and of the FRAP [Revolutionary Anti-Fascist Patriotic Front], and two Basque ETA patriots. These were the last executions ordered by the dictator. The mobilization was general, popular demonstrations multiplied throughout Europe, in France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain. Protests came in from governments around the world, from the Vatican; ambassadors were withdrawn... This is all well known. Only one country remained silent, without a word of condemnation, nor an article recounting the infamy, nothing. Enver Hoxha wrote on September 30:
“It is a scandalous, anti-Marxist stand on the part of the Chinese that up till now they have not said a single word in defence of our five Spanish comrades, of whom three were members of the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist), whom the hangman, Franco, executed. The whole world rose to its feet in stern protest, the entire world proletariat, indeed even the bourgeois governments and the Vatican protested against this filthy, revolting act and recalled their ambassadors from Madrid, while only ‘Mao’s revolutionary socialist China ‘ said not one word about the Spanish heroes!! Is this a revolutionary stand?! A Marxist-Leninist stand? No, this is a reactionary stand in the full meaning of the word. “
There is a lot that can be written, and we should do so, about Comrade Enver Hoxha, about his successes and also about shadows and doubts that someday will become clear. We will have to do this, calmly and without giving ammunition to the enemy. Enver Hoxha was a communist, a great communist. He was a man, not a God, and certainly he made mistakes and committed errors. To pretend otherwise is stupid, suitable for crude bureaucrats and sycophants who abound everywhere and from whom neither the socialist countries, including Albania, and the communist parties, including the Marxist-Leninists, escaped.
This is used to explain failures, which cannot be denied, a phrase that seems witty, but in reality reflects ignorance of the dialectical development of History: “When we already knew the answers, they changed the questions.” No, it is not a change of questions, it is the dialectical mechanics of capitalism; read Marx’s Capital, and we will see that nothing happens that is not a logical development of capitalism, of the socialization of production in the hands of private property. This situation will inevitably burst forth. Tomorrow or the day after? One cannot predict, but it is the struggle of opposites that nobody can stop. It is the struggle that has had dramatic consequences in the USSR, in the so-called socialist camp, in Albania, China, etc. However, this leads us communists to continue and intensify the struggle for the liberation of the proletariat, of the peoples, of humanity, to work for the future boldly and without losing hope. We lost some battles, but not the war.
Madrid, March 2014