From La Forge
July 15 - August 31, 1992

Letter from Prison of Nexhmije Hoxha

[Editorial introduction]

Albania continues to sink into chaos. Hundreds of people have again sought to storm embassies and boats to try to leave the country. The new leaders of the Democratic Party in power are already splitting up. The risk is great in this context to want to lay responsibility on the back of the former regime and make the leaders of the PLA into scapegoats. The remains of those who were buried in the cemetery of martyrs have been removed from that symbolic place to be placed into a common grave. Scores of former responsible people are currently under indictment. Among them is Nexhmije Hoxha, a member of the leadership of the PLA since its foundation, the widow of the leader of the PLA Enver Hoxha (who died in April of 1985). At the age of 75, she is imprisoned, in isolation, sick, under the expectation of either being sentenced or set free.

In one of its last issues, the journal "A Classe Operaria" of the Communist Party of Brazil (CPB) published a translation of a long letter from Nexhmije Hoxha addressed to Joao Amazonas, President of the CPB. She thanks among others all those who, from France, Italy, Brazil... have showed her their sympathy or have undertaken interventions with the Albanian authorities that she be given the benefit of a minimum of judicial guarantees.

We publish extracts of this letter (translated from the Portuguese by ourselves) for two main reasons.

It first of all concerns a militant who still upholds communism and who is being persecuted by a regime that wants to put an end to everything that, more closely or further away, is linked to the socialist past of that country.

It also concerns testimony, limited of course, concerning the last period of the history of Albania that has seen the total liquidation of the socialist regime. As she emphasizes at the end of her letter, all the archives of the PLA are today in the hands of the Socialist Party, a party which has thrown itself into the arms of the Socialist International. One can imagine the use that can be made of them.

For reasons of length, we are publishing only extracts concerning less known aspects of the situation. Our readers can refer back to articles which we have written in our previous issues about the current chaotic situation, about the maneuvers of internal reaction supported by the imperialists, and about the cowardly behavior of certain false communists.


Tirana, April 14, 1992

"... I have seen with full confidence the activity of a new organization, the Euro-socialist youth who, despite what they call themselves and the fact that they are a branch of the Socialist Party, the are independent of the latter. Even though they have distanced themselves from the past and they criticize the PLA and Enver Hoxha, what is important is that this organization is in the process of rallying the young people who are stable, healthy, cultivated, who love to learn and are opposed to the DP [Democratic Party] and its youth organization, which is known for its degenerate liberalism, its anarchistic spirit, its cosmopolitanism and snobbery."

Explaining why she does not have confidence in the Socialist Party, N. Hoxha reviews the party currently in power and shows its incapability:

"The new President, Sali Berisha, practiced the politics of a dilettante and is a person who is lacking in stability. (He was a Communist for 27 years and Secretary of the Party at the School of Medicine and has transformed himself today into a furious anti-communist.)"

She proceeds to discuss the last period:

"... It is above all after the statue of Enver was torn down in Tirana, and it is strongly suspected that the former Minister of the Interior Hekuram Isai didn't do anything about this, that President Ramiz Alia lost the confidence of the people, he under-estimated the people and lost contact with them, to the point of losing the election in his own district. Distant, he remained isolated, without comrades, without the people, without power. Certain people say that he was sacrificed and that he had assumed a burden that was too heavy. This is true, but he should have shown more determination. Certain people question his patience, his tolerance and his consistent attitude of avoiding the spilling of blood despite the illegal demonstrations, or when the monuments were being destroyed all over. No one wanted blood to be spilled. This has been affirmed by all, including the Plenum of the CC of the Party. I also said that. When the statue of Enver was overturned in Tirana, and when I saw on television the angry people in the meetings, when a million people had signed a document stating their willingness to defend Enver, with the slogan: 'Let's go to Tirana to set the statue back on its feet," I too was afraid that a barbaric action by the vandals of the DP should not lead our people into a bloody provocation, and that that would be an indelible stain linked to the name of Enver.

"... I went to the headquarters of the CC, directly to Ramiz Alia's cabinet. He had numerous letters from the meetings, containing insults and unequivocal criticisms concerning him, directed against the decree which he had signed, and condemning the barbarous tearing down of the statue of Enver which had been shown many times on television. Evidently he was very desperate faced with the situation created.

"... I said to Ramiz that, as a communist militant who bore the name of Enver, I was prepared to go to all regions of the country, to reunite the people, to speak with them, to calm their spirits, etc.... But he hesitated because in the regions there were also extremists of the DP, furious anti-Enverists, and that something might happen to me. We agreed to call together in Tirana 20 to 30 people from each region. We talked with them for two days.

"The people spoke freely about the capitulations of Ramiz Alia and he said: "Where are you leading us?" He realized that he had lost the confidence of the communists and of the sympathizers of the PLA and of Enver. The people demanded with insistence a referendum to decide if the statue should not be put back in its place. I spoke and, among others, I defended Ramiz because the situation demanded it: "On whom are we going to confer the direction of the country?" I asked myself. About the referendum, I said that in case it is decided to hold one, it would not be a matter only of deciding what to do with the statue, but moreover of deciding the role and the place of E. Hoxha in the history of this half century."

She refers next to the 10th and last Congress of the PLA:

"... For the preparation of the report and of the documents of the Congress, Ramiz had proposed the creation of a large commission, outside of the CC, which was accepted. In the course of the plenum of the CC held two days before the Congress, certain members of the commission started to attack the members of the Political Bureau and to demand their expulsion from the plenum and from the party. Proposals were made to dissolve the whole CC, so that at the Congress the voice new forces could be heard. I said to Comrade Ramiz that this has a name: a putsch. How could a commission be able to reverse the CC of the Party, besides the fact that the Congress would be meeting here in two days and that the majority of the CC was not opposed to a new line, but that it discussed, debated and showed itself pre-occupied? What did not take place at the plenum did happen at the first session of the Congress. There was a demand for accounting from the old leadership of the Party, but not a demand for self-criticism of the political line (which would have equally implicated the former first secretary, Ramiz Alia). What it did was to enumerate facts and figures to discredit the comrades of the leadership who had certain privileges linked to their function, but which hit the spirits of the fact of certain excesses committed by certain comrades, such as the granting of favors to people close to them, of differences concerning food, lodging, etc., such elements which, in the context of great difficulties created by the lack of work, of food, have made the delegates to the Congress very sensitive. Many of these leaders have been expelled from the Party, without taking into account their struggle and their work which represented, for some of them, 40 to 45 years of their lives.

"... Recently the Communist Party has been formed on the basis of the Associations of the Partisans of Enver. In my opinion it would have been better if this association had been maintained as such, at least for the moment; it would be able to remain a broad movement. But the members wanted to create a Party to participate in the parliamentary life (they have not succeeded, victims of numerous manipulations and scheming). They wanted also to have an organ of the press, which is permitted to parties. In any way, they would have had a hard time. The President of the Party is a poet, Hysni Milloshi, a simple man, very courageous and guided by an inflexible logic. His articles are much welcomed by the communists and the sympathizers of Enver.

"To conclude, a few words about myself. I have been a prisoner since December 4. An investigation has been made in my absence and the initial accusations of "appropriation of important sums [of money] from the state" have failed to hold one after the other. The press has made its arguments on the fact that we supposedly seized the treasury of the state and that we had made deposits in Swiss banks. Nonsense! The accusations of usurpation of power have no foundation. No legal accusation has been brought against me because all the expenses have been justified by the decisions of the party or of the state, with documents signed by the authorities for everything concerning reception [of money], of what follows, etc.

"... After the investigation had begun, six or seven lawyers have refused to defend me because they did not want to compromise themselves. The one who had accepted abandoned me during the investigation because he, as well as his family, was the victim of threats, as the mafia carries out in certain countries. I took on my own defense until the end of the investigation. But when I ended my political declaration, in which I rejected all the accusations, they immediately notified me of the decision to arrest me and I was led directly from the place of the investigation to prison and placed in an isolation regime.

"... There are twenty of us accused, and four or five in prison. I have demanded that my case be disassociated from that of the others and to not appear before a military tribunal. In case where the judgment is delayed I have demanded the benefit of house imprisonment. In fact, the judgment has not taken place for electoral reasons. No judge or prosecutor wants, by freeing us, to sacrifice the post which the new Parliament had conferred on him."

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