How did the Party of Labour of Albania under the leadership of Enver Hoxha look upon its role in the event of an imperialist attack upon Yugoslavia? The following excerpt from a ‘Zeri i Popullit’ Editorial of 1980 and which was broadcast by Radio Tirana on January 19th 1980 reminds us that in such an event Enver Hoxha had argued that the Albanian people would stand by the Yugoslav peoples.
The Albanian people, who know the past of the Yugoslavian people well, have the unflinching conviction that they are not intimidated by any threat or blackmail, that if the necessity arises they will know how to fight with courage and bravery against any attack of the enemies no matter where it comes from: the Yugoslav peoples are not the sort who back down in the face of threats. They know how to fight with self-sacrifice to defend their freedom, won with so much bloodshed and sacrifice.
We Albanians have had and still have irreconcilable ideological differences with the Yugoslav leadership. We have always and will continue to criticize the anti-Marxist system of self-administration; we have fought and will fight determinedly against the Yugoslav and modern revisionism, for the defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism; we have and will continue to interest ourselves in the rights which the Albanians of Kosova, Macedonia, Montenegro, should enjoy on the basis of the Yugoslav constitution.
World opinion knows and is clear on this stand of ours.
The foreign policy of our country in the stand towards our neighbours, continues Zeri i Popullit, has never and will never change. Our republic has made and will make all-round efforts for the normal development of trading, cultural and other relations with them. We have publicly stated that Albania will never permit foreigners to use its territory as a base against Yugoslavia or Greece, that we will support the Yugoslav and Greek peoples in the struggle for national freedom, independence and sovereignty. Hence not only will nothing bad come to them from Albania, but they will be aided. The peoples of the Balkans do not threaten anyone, but neither do they fear threats just as they do not fear aggressive war, which others may launch and which they know how to cope with successfully...
In the face of the threats of the Soviet, American and other imperialist aggressors against Yugoslavia, the Albanian people adhere to what comrade Enver Hoxha said at the Seventh Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, that in the case of an eventual attack by the Soviet Union or any power against Yugoslavia, the Albanian people will stand by the Yugoslav peoples.
Thus everyone can rest assured that if the question arises of the defence of freedom and independence from imperialist aggressors of no matter what kind, the Albanians and Yugoslavs will once more fight together against the common enemies as they fought in the past.
Historical facts prove this. Our divisions went and fought in Yugoslavia in the same trenches as the Yugoslav partisans, against German fascism and triumphed. We Albanians fight for freedom and justice and like brave fighters Albanians are cool-headed. But when anyone tries to trample them underfoot, then the rifle speaks.
From: ‘Socialist Albania’, journal of the India-Albania Friendship Association, July 1980, No. 14, pp. 3-5.
Our policy towards Yugoslavia has not changed and will not change, provided that the Yugoslav government, too, is correct towards us. The declaration of the Party of Labour of Albania, that in case of any eventual aggression against Yugoslavia by the Soviet Union or some other power the Albanian people will stand by the Yugoslav peoples, will always hold good. But the Yugoslav side must respond to this stand of Albania with just and correct actions towards us.
From: Enver Hoxha ‘Report on the Activity of the C.C. of the Party of Labour of Albania’ submitted to the 7th Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, November 1, 1976,Tirana, 1977, pp. 202-203.
Click here to return to the September 2001 index.