(ADDRESS DELIVERED BY ETHEM HALILI AT THE GRAVE OF ENVER HOXHA ON THE 15th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH, 11 APRIL 2000)
Like the people as a whole, the Communists remember Comrade Enver Hoxha with deep respect and honour. It is fifteen years since the day when the heart of the greatest figure who has emerged from the Albanian nation in its entire history ceased to beat, from the day when Enver Hoxha was physically separated from the Party which he created and led for almost half a century, from the people who loved him and which he served unsparingly.
Leaders like Enver Hoxha come rarely. They are thrown up by great epochs and have as their mission the revolutionary transformation of the world. Such was Enver, whose influence was so powerful that the time in which he lived and worked may justly be called the epoch of Enver.
Enver Hoxha was a great statesman, a distinguished diplomat, an able soldier, a brilliant political analyst and organiser — qualities which made him a far-sighted, even visionary, leader.
With the deep Marxist-Leninist thought of Enver Hoxha are indissolubly linked victory in the Anti-Fascist War of National Liberation and the position of Albania on the side of the victorious United Nations. This opened the way to the period of socialist construction, to the creation of a many-sided industry and a modern agriculture which not only met the needs of the country but produced a growing surplus for export. This opened the way to the construction of a secure defence system and the development of an educational system which transformed the country from one with 90% illiteracy into one with a university and an Academy of Sciences.
Enver Hoxha was the distinguished founder and leader of the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA), which he directed with wisdom for fifty consecutive years. He was the commander of the Army of National Liberation and of our People’s Army, a tireless defender of the country’s freedom and independence. With Enver Hoxha at the head of the Party, Albania was truly an independent, sovereign country whose voice was heard in the international arena, a country which no one dared to attempt to bully and which indisputably enjoyed the respect of oppressed people and revolutionaries all over the world.
The greatness of the figure of Enver Hoxha stands out all the more when we look at what the country has suffered since his death, with the return of reaction and the restoration of capitalism. Everything the people had constructed with effort and sacrifice over fifty years under the leadership the PLA and Enver Hoxha was totally destroyed from the foundations, the country and the people faced mass unemployment, as a result of which Albanians were forced into emigration or into employment to work as the servants of others. Crime, corruption, prostitution and other evils associated with capitalist society spread. Albania lost not only its good name but also its sovereignty. For ten years a whole team of propagandists inspired and directed by the international bourgeoisie has poured out insults and demagogy with the aim of distorting the truth, denying the work of Enver Hoxha and striving to blacken his figure.
But this was in vain. The people understand very well what has happened, and long for the return of the time of Enver. The more time passes, the higher his figure towers on the horizon, the brighter the rays of his teachings shine.
By communists and by honest people Enver Hoxha has always been loved and respected. He has left to us a very precious inheritance — the theory and practice we need to guide us in the great and difficult battles which lie ahead.
His teachings call for the unity of communists into a single party, for the broadening of the links of the communists with the people, for the strengthening and tempering of that unity. Only in this way can we put ourselves in a position to fulfil these tasks successfully, to realise the historic mission to which we have dedicated ourselves.
As we commemorate today the figure of Enver Hoxha, his work and his name, we bow with deep respect and at the same time pledge ourselves to work with revolutionary dedication and without sparing ourselves, to keep alive communist ideals, to be guided at all times and at every step by the compass of the teachings of Enver, to work to realise his last wish that Albania should always march forward red, like the hearts of the communists and partisans.
Eternal glory to the immortal work and name of Enver Hoxha!