Albania is the only socialist country in the world today, and as such its foreign policy is different from the foreign policy of any other country. It follows an open, independent policy, guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. This means that Albania constantly guards and maintains its independence and defends the interests of the socialist homeland. This also means that Albania supports the revolutionary struggles of the working class and people throughout the world, for national liberation and socialism working always to assist these struggles and to increase the fighting unity of the people against their common enemies.
In taking this stand, Albania opposes the threats and interference of the two imperialist blocs, headed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In contrast to the two superpowers, who dictate and dominate over the world’s people and whose rivalry for power is threatening all humanity with a new world war, Albania maintains a policy of peaceful coexistence with countries of different social systems. It develops foreign trade, cultural and scientific exchanges based on equality and mutual interest, and respect for freedom and national independence. It has always worked to strengthen sincere relations of friendship and collaboration with all the freedom-loving and peace-loving peoples, with all those who fight against the aggressive and hegemonic policy of imperialism.
On the basis of forty years of socialist construction, Albania has been able to build a strong and diversified economy. As a result it has increased its foreign trade, adding new products to its exports and achieving a balance of imports and exports. At present Albania has trade relations with over 50 countries and hundreds of firms. Its exports include fuels, electric power, chromium, ferrochrome, basic nickel carbonate, tobacco, fresh and canned vegetables, agricultural and artisans’ goods and other products. Machinery and some kinds of raw and primary materials for the expansion of production make up the overwhelming portion of imports. During this Five-Year Plan (the seventh), Albania is working to keep the growth of exports higher than imports. It gives priority to exports so as to ensure that the export-import balance results in the increase of their reserves for foreign currency.
In addition to foreign trade, Albania has cultural and scientific exchanges with many countries. It has always highly valued the friendship of peoples throughout the world, and their contributions to culture, science and the progress of humanity. lt has worked to extend its friendly relations on every continent. The reports of trips to and from Albania in the magazine, “New Albania”, give a vivid picture of the growing ties and friendship of Albania with the people of the world. Diplomatic relations have grown from year to year and in 1981 numbered 95 stetes and commercial and cultural relations exist with many more. These include countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Europe.
How Does Albania Conduct Trade Relations While Remaining Free From The Domination and Dictate of the Superpowers?
One of the problems which confront the developing countries of the world is interference and control over their economies by one or the other superpower. The newspapers have been filled with the serious difficulties faced by the Latin American countries as they suffer under tremendous debt to the U.S. and particularly the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund. Using these debts as a club, the U.S. is demanding even greater sacrifice by the peoples of these countries and further increasing its control over these countries.
How is it that a small country like Albania is free from such domination? The answer lies in the socialist policies of Albania, beginning with the victory of the people’s revolution and continuing today. Albania has never accepted any inequality, discrimination, exploitation and political or economic submission it rejects all imperialist attempts to gain a foothold in Albania under the guise of trade.
Albania has been able to do this by implementing from the beginning the Marxist-Leninist principle of establishing state monopoly on foreign trade. This means that the state, which is controlled by the working class, concentrates in its hands all foreign trade activity. Albania’s economy is protected from indiscriminate flow of foreign goods and from the economic crisis of the capitalist countries. Thus, imports and exports are included in the economic plan. Albania trades its surplus of mineral products and energy in order to obtain products and technology it needs to sustain its industrial growth and meet the material needs of the people.
Since liberation, Albania has never allowed the resources of the country to be given away to foreign companies. As its Constitution states, “…In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the granting of concessions to, and the creation of foreign economic and financial companies and other institutions or ones formed jointly with bourgeois and revisionist capitalist monopolies and states, as well as obtaining credits from them, are prohibited.” Albania is completely free of foreign debt and the entanglement and domination by the superpowers and other capitalist states which these debts create.
Thus Albania is living proof that even a small country and one which started out very backward economically can achieve socialist construction and maintain complete independence from the big imperialist powers, by relying on its own resources and uniting all its people in a valiant struggle.
Albania and the Struggle Against Revisionism
During World War II and after, Albania allied with the Soviet Union, then a socialist country. Under the leadership of Stalin, the Soviet Union provided assistance and fraternal aid to Albania. Based on a united struggle for building socialism and supporting the revolutionary struggles around the world, Albania and the Soviet Union had Lies of mutual benefit and cooperation.
But with the death of Stalin and rise of revisionism in the Soviet Union, a struggle broke out — not only between these two countries but between all the true fighters for socialism in the world and the traitors of the Soviet Union, who destroyed socialism and re-established capitalism. This was a just and vital struggle in the interests of the people, and the Albanians, led by their Marxist-Leninist Party, the Party of Labor of Albania, played a leading role in exposing the Soviet revisionists. They put forward for all to see that the path the Soviets had taken was against the interests of the people and would cause the Soviet Union to become an aggressive, imperialist power. Reality today proves the Albanians right.
After World War II, the Albanians also had relations with Yugoslavia and China. In both of these cases, a similar struggle unfolded. The Yugoslav government and party tried to make Albania an appendage of the Yugoslav economy and to hamper the socialist industrialization of Albania. They tried to isolate Albania and exploit the country through unequal exchanges and hostile interference. And here too, an ideological struggle developed, with the Albanians once again exposing that the policies and stands of the Yugoslavs reflected not socialist ideals, not Marxism-Leninism, but capitalism and service to the rich.
The situation with China developed at a later date. Again there was a fierce ideological struggle, with the Albanian people fighting to defend the interests of the working class and people, and the Chinese taking a stand in support of U.S. imperialism. The Chinese, like the Yugoslavs and Soviets, promoted revisionist lines and policies which harmed the struggles of the people and caused great confusion.
In each case, the revisionists attempted to sabotage the economy of Albania, unilaterally canceling contracts and agreements. They tried to fool the Albanians into accepting their dictate and when this didn’t work they resorted to other means of attack leaving projects unfinished, providing false reports on mineral deposits and so on. In the face of this, the great strength and determination Albania has shown to oppose all forms of revisionist and imperialist attack and to continue on the socialist road is a great inspiration to all people interested in freedom and progress.
The struggle waged by the Albanians under the leadership of the PLA, has been discussed and analysed in recent works by Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the PLA. In these books — The Khrushchevites, The Titoites, Reflections on China (on the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and China respectively), and Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha provides great detail and insight, while making important contributions to the understanding and analyses of imperialism and revisionism on a world scale. These books, as well as the consistent and open policy which Albania pursues today readily show why the imperialists slander Albania. They attack Albania because it refuses to accept revisionism and the path of betrayal of the people, and because it remains independent of the dictate and domination of the imperialists. In fact, it is a great danger to the imperialists and social-imperialists and thus they do everything to silence its voice and confuse people about Albania. But day after day, Albania shows the world that it is the imperialist powers who are becoming more and more isolated, as the peoples increase their struggle against the superpowers and all their local tools of reaction.
The Foreign Policy of Albania: Based on a Marxist-Leninist Analysis of the World
In order to have a consistent internationalist stand which both safeguards the revolution in Albania and supports the struggles of the world’s peoples, the Albanians make a careful objective analysis of the international situation. They explain that imperialism is the source of all aggression and predatory wars, the source of the suffering of the world’s people. U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism are competing and maneuvering to carry out various aggressions and occupy other countries. These two superpowers, along with other imperialist and capitalist powers (European countries, Japan, China, etc.), are trying to outdo each other in gaining economic, political and military superiority and in capturing new strategic positions. This is what leads to dangerous tensions and threatens the peoples with a new world war. The superpowers make secret deals and interfere in and attack various countries and nations in order to gain markets, raw materials and other advantages.
The Albanians show that imperialist war, oppression and exploitation have run into great resistance from the working class and peoples of the world. They bring out that the struggles of workers and other oppressed peoples is a cause for great optimism.
While analysing that the imperialist superpowers and their NATO and Warsaw Pact allies are powerful and ferocious, the Albanians also expose that they are in decay, suffering from all round crisis. They explain that for the world’s people to escape once and for all from the suffering they experience under capitalism, under the neo-colonialist yoke of foreign imperialists and domination by local reactionary rulers, there is only one path. This is the path of socialist revolution, to overthrow imperialism and all reactionaries. This struggle is an objective historical process that no force can stop.
Albania Supports The International Working Class and Oppressed Peoples
Albania strengthens its support for the working class world-wide while safeguarding and defending socialism at home. In every available international forum, Albania presents a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world, which recognizes that the working class in every country is the leading force of the revolution. And as their own experience confirms, the victory of the revolution depends on the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class on the ability of this party to unite the people in struggle against their enemies and to organize the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. For this reason, the PLA pays great attention to strengthening and increasing its unity with Marxist- Leninist parties worldwide, and on developing the unity and strength of the international communist movement. Its consistent struggle against revisionism has been a very valuable contribution to the growth and development of the revolutionary movement world-wide. The great accomplishments of Albania in socialist construction and its firm stand against imperialism and revisionism has made it the leading ideological and political force in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.
Consistent with assisting the unity and struggle of the working class world-wide is Albania’s support for the struggle of all people for democracy, independence and socialism. The Albanians support each step in the struggles for freedom, independence and social progress won by other peoples, such as those of the Iranians in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Shah and the Nicaraguans in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Somoza. These triumphs help them and the other peoples of the world by weakening the common enemy.
In the international arena, the Albanians work to expose the superpowers and their allies and to put forward an internationalist stand in support of the just struggles of the people for national and social liberation. For example, the consistent exposure of the phony character of the disarmament talks by the superpowers is one effort the Albanians have made to prevent the world’s people from being fooled.
The fact that Albania vigorously opposes, ideologically and politically, the stands of other countries does not prevent them from having friendly relations. Yugoslavia, for example, has taken hostile actions toward Albania and has attempted to destroy its socialist homeland. Despite the ideological differences with the Yugoslav revisionists, and their continuing plots against Albania, the Albanians aim to carry on normal diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia . At the same time, they have repeatedly warned the Yugoslav government against continuing its brutal, chauvinist policy toward the almost two million Albanians in Kosova and other parts of Yugoslavia. These people were separated from Albania during the imperialist dismemberment of the country before World War II. The Kosovars have demanded their own republic within the Yugoslav Federation, the right to develop their own national art and culture, to become acquainted with their own history and so on. The Kosovars have refused to reconcile themselves to an inferior status among the peoples of Yugoslavia, where their political, economic and national rights have been denied. Albania has never interfered in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia, but it has defended and will continue to defend the rights of the Kosovars in Yugoslavia.
Albania works not only for good relations with Yugoslavia, but with all the Balkan countries (Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania) and with European states in general. It aims to create a friendly atmosphere and to relax tensions. It seeks to resolve disputes by protracted negotiations rather than by threats and violence. It has called on these countries (as well as those in the rest of the world) not to ally themselves with the superpowers, saying that there is no safety under their aggressive “nuclear umbrellas”. It has also called on its neighbors to refuse to allow superpower military bases on their soil or to permit the superpowers to use their ports for refueling or rest stops.
Albania has formal diplomatic relations with China, but since 1978 when the Chinese social-imperialists lined up against the PLA and the Albanian people, there have been no other contacts. In 1978 the Chinese violated official agreements between the two countries, revealed information harmful to Albania’s security and sabotaged projects underway.
As for the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, the Albanians consider them the most savage enemies of the freedom and independence of the peoples and of peace and security in the world. They do not and will not have relations with these enemies of the people and will resolutely continue their exposure of these powers’ aggressive and hegemony-seeking policy and activity. Albania also refuses to have diplomatic relations with South Africa and Israel.
The foreign policy of Albania is an open, correct and principled policy, which defends the victories of socialism and supports the progressive struggles of people in the world. Providing a clear example of what is possible when a people rely on their own efforts, and unite under the leadership of a true Marxist-Leninist party, the Albanian people and state have won the respect and sympathy of millions of people all over the world.
In spite of the conspiracy of silence in all the U.S. bourgeois media the achievements of socialist Albania cannot and should not be hidden from democratic and progressive Americans. This pamphlet has been produced to help break this silence and to tell the inspiring story of this small country and its forty years of brilliant achievements since liberation and the triumph of the people’s revolution.
Alternating with the capitalist media’s usual silence have been lies and falsifications about Albania. But progressive organizations world-wide and many eyewitnesses to Albania’s socialist construction insist an spreading the true facts about the new socialist life being developed.
Facts show the Albanians are blazing a historic trail. Socialist Albania, the first country in the world to abolish taxes, the only country without such capitalist evils as inflation and unemployment, is a country that anyone eager to learn how these “miracles” have been accomplished should investigate. Starting as the country which was the most backward in Europe before World War II, Albania has become completely self-sufficient in feeding its people and constantly provides a better material and cultural life for its people.
Albania has accomplished all of this despite constant attacks and pressures by the imperialist powers. In particular, the United States government has been responsible for ongoing attacks against Albania, in collaboration with Britain, Yugoslavia and other European countries. These provocations continue today.
Albania deserves the support of all democratic and progressive people. It provides a shining example of how the working class and people can completely change their lives for the better. Using the experience of centuries of struggle against foreign occupation, the Albanian people rose and developed their Communist Party, the strong leadership capable of meeting the historic challenge before them. This Party, now the Party of Labor of Albania, led the people in defending their rights and waging a war of national and social liberation. Today after forty years of triumphant socialist construction the people, firmly united around the Party, are actively participating in the running and organizing of the state and economy, defending their homeland and joining with the people of the world to fight for peace, democracy and social progress.
Socialist Albania shows the reality that can be achieved when the working class and people take history into their hands and determine their own destiny.