Hoxha to Brezhnev: “Rehabilitate Stalin! Renounce revisionism!”

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Enver Hoxha

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Leonid Brezhnev

“On October 14, 1964, Khrushchev fell from power.  Tirana hailed this development as ‘a great victory for the Marxist-Leninist forces in their resolute struggle against the modern revisionists [and] a testimony to the well known policy of our party,’  but the Albanian press and radio were guarded in their comments concerning the new Soviet leadership.  When it became evident that Brezhnev and Kosygin did not contemplate significant changes in Soviet policy, Tirana gradually resumed its hostilities with Moscow.

In early November, the Albanian leaders felt constrained to outline their conditions for a Soviet-Albanian reconciliation.  Specifically, they demanded that the Soviets rehabilitate Stalin, engineer the overthrow of Tito, repudiate revisionism, and restore ‘Leninist norms’ in the organization of the CPSU.

When it became obvious that the new Soviet leaders had no intention of giving serious consideration to the Albanian proposals, Tirana responded on November 13, by publishing an extensive critique of the political ‘Testament’ of Palmiro Togliatti, the long-time secretary of the Communist Party of Italy.  The Albanians noted that they had withheld publication of this article, which was ready for the press when Khrushchev was ousted, in the hope that the new Soviet leaders would renounce the revisionist course they had pursued since 1966.  Instead of abandoning revisionism, however, Khrushchev’s successors had become partisans of Togliatti, whose views, in the eyes of Tirana, were more radically revisionist than those of Tito.

Thus, within a month of the fall of Khrushchev, Tirana came to the conclusion that there was no possibility of reaching an accommodation with the Soviet union,  Accordingly, the Albanian anti-Soviet propaganda campaign again moved into high gear, and on November 28, Hoxha delivered a violent personal attack on Brezhnev, Kosygin, Mikoyan, and Suslov.”

 

Nicholas C. Pano, The People’s Republic of Albania (1968)