Interview with Agim Xheka

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SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARTY OF THE UNITED COMMUNISTS OF ALBANIA

(This interview was requested by an independent newspaper but was not published)

Q: At a press conference a few days ago the Party of the United Communists of Albania declared that it would take part in the national elections. Does this mean alone or in alliance with the Communist Party?

A: When we said that we would take part in the elections, we were speaking for our party. We were nor referring to alliances. But we see the Communist Party in the framework of the aim of our congress, that of unity, that of creating a single communist organisation. The achievement of this aim will make us stronger and assist the people to evaluate us correctly.

Q: Do you think that this unity will be realised before the elections?

A. We are doing everything we can in this direction, but I cannot give you a precise reply at present. Inasmuch as our programmes are built on the same foundation, on the ideals of 8 November 1941, on the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and of Enver Hoxha, I can see no reason why unity should not be achieved.

I blame the delay in reaching full agreement on this question mainly on the fact that the communists have been working under conditions of illegality. But I cannot deny that disruptive activity on the part of saboteurs who have penetrated the movement are also a factor. Nevertheless, in today’s conditions, nothing can stop the drive to unity.

Albania is at present leaderless. The great powers are seeking to play with the destinies of the people, whose interests should be paramount. In this they are aided and abetted by today’s pseudo-politicians of the new bourgeoisie. Unless the communists are able to bring about this unity, the people will continue to be exploited by forces inside and outside the frontiers.

Q: Let us imagine for a moment that unity has been realised . . .

A: We communists do not dwell in the world of imagination. But we are convinced that the unity of the communists will be realised, and indeed very soon. Those who work to sabotage this unity know its strength and fear that one day they will be called to account before the people for the harm they have done to Albania and its national wealth.

Q: Are you convinced that, if this unity is achieved, the people will support you in the national elections?

A: Absolutely YES.

Q: You say YES with emphasis. On what do you base this belief?

A: I do not want to go into philosophy, but we bow to the criterion of truth which, as you know, is practice. What has practice shown in the history of mankind? Who overthrew the slave system: the slaveowners or the slaves? Or again, was the October Socialist Revolution made by the oppressors or by the oppressed? Let us come to our own history, to 1944. Who overthrew the feudal-bourgeois rulers and their backers, the occupiers of the country? It was the working people, led by the communists. But who were the communists? Were they representatives of the people or of the oppressors of the people?

The communists have been and are in uninterrupted struggle against the classes who oppress the people. Consequently, they are today in struggle against the bourgeoisie and the parties who support it. Whom should the people believe, the oppressors or the communists?

Q: Are the communists really defenders of the interests of the people?

A; Let me repeat: absolutely YES. This is an undeniable truth. And the people have learned this truth by their own bitter experience of the last ten years. And they have also learned that in the propaganda of the reactionaries, white is portayed as black and black as white.

Q: What is the principal lesson they have learned?

A: They will tell you themselves. They have learned that capitalism has its basis in the exploitation of man by man. They have learned that bourgeois politicians lie and cheat, that they are bandits and criminals.

Q: So the lesson you draw from these last ten years . . . ?

A: We communists did not need ten years to draw the lessons. The year 1991 was enough.

Q: How do you mean?

A: I will attempt to explain in a few words the mistakes that we ourselves made. This is the principal lesson.

Q: So you accept that you made mistakes? ,

A: Oh, certainly. But our mistakes were not of the kind portrayed by bourgeois propaganda. Our mistakes had nothing to do with communist ideals, with Marxist-Leninist ideology, or with the teachings of Enver Hoxha. On the contrary, our mistakes are all concerned with the failure to adhere to these teachings. The principal mistake which we and the people made was loss of vigilance, and it is a mistake for which we have paid very dearly. To concretise this, may I first ask how old you are?

Q: Twenty-five.

A. May you live to be a hundred! Let us look at a little history, because you are in the age-group which for the last ten years has received no proper education. It is necessary to be clear that we communists are not ‘ogres’, as you were taught at school, as we are portrayed by today’s authorities. We are honourable people. We are patriots. We are the first to make sacrifices and the last to make unfounded claims. We communists did not found the Communist Party in order to place it at the service of fascism We did not build power-stations to make profits for foreign companies, but to bring light to the people. We did not build fortifications to defend ourselves against imaginary enemies, but to protect the people against the fate which has befallen our Kosovar brothers. Finally, I ask you, did we communists fulfil the promises we made? Compare our promises with those made today. To repair a bridge today it takes several months to do what the communists would have done in a night. Such are the communist ‘ogres’, and the proofs are countless and indisputable.

Q: You spoke of ‘loss of vigilance’ and ‘mistakes’?

A: Yes, yes. The loss of vigilance occurred at the highest level, in the ranks of the Party of Labour (PLA) The ‘ogres’ entered the Party, or became ‘ogres’ inside it. Thus, after the death of Enver, the leadership of the party fell into the hands of cunning traitors like Ramiz Alia and Sali Berisha, who pretended to be ‘more Catholic than the Pope’. And these mistakes created the conditions which enabled internal and external reaction to realise their long-held aims of restoring capitalism.

Now the Party has cleansed itself of these traitors, and the people has learned where loss of vigilance leads. The people now know, and you will very quickly learn, who are the real communists, to be trusted.

Q: I hope that you succeed in bringing about unity, I wish you success in the elections, and I thank you.

A: Thank you.

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