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The Strength of the Small Nations Lies In Their Militant Unity for Freedom, Independence, and Socialism
From the conversation at the meeting with Du Bois, Director of the Television of the Republic of Ghana
Date: November 27, 1964;
Source: Speeches and Articles: 1963-1964, pp. 328-336;
Publisher: The 8 Nentori Publishing House, Tirana, 1977;
Transciption/HTML: The American Party of Labor;
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2018). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
After exchanging greetings, Madame Shirley Graham Du Bois tells comrade Enver Hoxha among other things that she has Come to Albania to take part in the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Liberation as well as «to see the successes Albania has achieved, in order to take back to Ghana the experience of the construction of the New Albania, experience which comprises an example to us». Then comrade Enver Hoxha began to speak:
I am glad to have the opportunity of a personal talk with you, the wife of the honoured comrade Du Bois.1 To us, to the communists, and to the oppressed peoples, he was a valued comrade. People like comrade Du Bois will live forever in the hearts of the people. The peoples will not forget those who have fought for their liberty, they will not forget the great activity of comrade Du Bois, his statements in which he gave powerful support to the progressive movement in the world, they will not forget his consistent defence of the cause of the black people, his struggle for the freedom of peoples and their rights to work and bread. Therefore we are happy to have the opportunity today, to meet the respected wife and collaborator of comrade Du Bois, who is also a friend of the Albanian people.
Madame Du Bois, we are very moved by your warm words about the Albanian people.
We Albanians are a small nation. Our people have always tried to have friends everywhere in the world. Although small in number, our nation has never bowed in submission to enemies, has never tolerated slavery but has fought, throughout its existence, against internal and foreign enemies who wanted to enslave it. And the woman's great contribution to ail these struggles and battles throughout the centuries must not be overlooked.
As you know yourself, the woman has played, plays and will play one of the greatest roles in the life of mankind, in building a life of happiness and progress. Unfortunately, the situation of the woman in the past was not like it is today. At that time, the woman in our country lived in darkness, ignorance and suffered double oppression, although she was, and is, just as intelligent as the men. And who was it who suffered in this way? She who is the bearer of life, who keeps the spirit of patriotism alive in the family, who works as conscientiously as, and I dare say, perhaps more so than, the men. We Albanians are proud of the women of our country who have been unyielding fighters, not only in the National Liberation war, but always, through all the centuries of wars the Albanian people have fought. Today also in the construction of socialism, the woman is a decisive factor in our country. Therefore, we are proud of our wives, mothers, and sisters, and we are happy that now, in socialism they have won their full rights, their complete freedom.
Now that our country has come out into the light, into socialism, the Albanian people are more aware than anyone else of the value of friendship, sincere friendship with all the peoples. We have sympathy for all the peoples, especially for the peoples of Africa, whose lot has been very similar to ours.
That is why we are very happy about the successes which the people of Ghana have achieved and are achieving. Our ambassador in Ghana informs us regularly about the progress of Ghana, the friendship and kindness he has found there.
After the guest from Ghana spoke enthusiastically about her impressions from her stay in the 'People's Republic of Albania and informed those present about the! efforts and aims of the people of Ghana for the consolidation of their country's independence and social progress, comrade Enver Hoxha went on:
For my part, Madame Du Bois, I understand you very well, and welcome your correct views.
First, it is very important that you say that the 'best way to the people's happiness is that of socialism.
Second, it is also important that, when you speak of socialism, you have in mind those immortal ideas which lead the peoples on the road of socialism, that is, Marxism-Leninism.
The Ghanean people are trying to free themselves completely from the yoke of imperialism, to strengthen their country's freedom and independence, which is of major importance. They have seen and are seeing in practice how the imperialists and their agents are making repeated attempts and hatching up one plot after another against their aspirations to freedom, independence and social progress, and this for the reason that the Ghanean people are moving in open opposition to the desires of the imperialists and colonialists.
You are quite right in saying that the general conditions of Europe are very different from those of Africa. But of course, to bring about a qualitative change needs a relatively Tong period of work, requires a thorough mastery of Marxism-Leninism and a creative application of it on the basis of the concrete conditions.
I want to tell you that when we began the National Liberation War the social conditions in our country were more or less the same as those you told us about in Ghana. The just aims of our Party touched the true feelings of the Albanian people, so they followed our Party right through the Liberation War and now, too, in the construction of socialism. In those conditions when, like you now, we did not have a very developed proletariat but mainly an oppressed, though heroic, peasantry, when we, too, were a semi-colony, when the bourgeois class had just begun to take shape, our Party, with its clear program, carried the work on, liberated Albania, and set it on the road to socialism. Hence, in your country, too, there are the conditions and possibilities to achieve this goal, because the great ideas of socialism are spreading to all the continents and reaching all the peoples. The force of Marxism-Leninism is immense, colonialism is being destroyed to its very foundations, imperialism is experiencing a very grave crisis today, hence the conditions are favourable for socialism to triumph. Socialism will achieve successes everywhere, for the peoples want it, they dream about it, for it is linked with their feelings. Kings, feudals, capitalists come and go, but the peoples remain and live on through centuries. They triumph. The others are transitory and will disappear. Of course this will be attained only with all-round efforts, with struggle, because the imperialists will never, willingly, lay down their arms.
The unity of the peoples in their fight for freedom, independence and social progress is indispensable. If we consider this question from the Marxist angle, unity is one of the main weapons of proletarian internationalism. The countries which are building socialism should help the enslaved peoples fighting for their national independence, as well as the other peoples that aspire to advance on the road to socialism, with all their might. This help should be understood properly, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism.
You know about the struggle of the Party of Labour of Albania against Krushchevite revisionism. Our Party fought Khrushchev and his ideas consistently through to the end, for Khrushchev was a bluffer, a dyed-in-the-wool incorrigible anti-Marxist. The aid which Khrushchev gave was not as Marxism understands it, aid free of any material or political self-interest.
On the contrary, the aid of Khrushchev and Co. had the character of a policy of subjugation, a policy of imposition, the chauvinist policy of a big state towards small nations. The revisionists' views about the small nations are no different from those of the capitalists and imperialists. We say this with conviction, for we have suffered it on our own backs.
We shall always strive to see that the peoples of Africa, especially, and those of other continents are given sincere Marxist-Leninist, disinterested aid, with no intrigue. That is how we understand true friendship. Our Party is small, but it is, and will go on fighting courageously in this direction and it is not alone on this course — many other parties are fighting together with it, the peoples of the world, and among them the peoples of Africa', are fighting together with it.
The question of the big state and the small state, the big peoples and the small peoples, interpreted in the sense that the small must submit to the big ones, is a very bad disease, a hangover from ages gone by, inherited from the capitalist-imperialist world-outlook. The Marxist-Leninists wage and must wage a ruthless struggle against this point of view. People like Khrushchev and Co. may smile at you, but deeply embedded in their consciousness they have this point of view very much developed. However, at the present time even the small peoples have woken up. We well understand the importance of big peoples, otherwise we would be making a mistake. We also understand the role of big states, but anyone who is a Marxist should also have a thorough and correct grasp of the importance of other peoples, no matter how small they may be. Whoever fails to understand this problem in a Marxist way, who fails to grasp the problem of the big nation and the small nation, he is not and cannot be a Marxist. Such a person has remnants of the old capitalist world-outlook in his consciousness.
N. Khrushchev and Co. boost themselves and pose as Marxist-Leninists. But is was Khrushchev who approved the intervention of the UNO in the Congo in 1960, and this enabled agents of the US imperialists and the other Congolese reactionaries to murder Lumumba.2 Even now the Khrushchevite revisionists are still making other concessions to imperialism and reaction. So life, practice and struggle make things clear, sort out who is on the side of the peoples and who is against them. No matter how much they try to pose as Marxists, Khrushchev and Co. are against the peoples. Such are the facts.
They attack us Albanians, because we speak the truth. It is true that we are small in number, but we are not afraid of the attacks of our enemies, for we know that today the true words of a small people are listened to with sympathy and respect by all honourable men and all the peoples of the world. The strength of small peoples lies in their militant spiritual unity with all the peoples fighting for justice and not for intrigues, in their determination to carry through to the end their struggle for the fulfilment of their aspirations, against the aims of the imperialists and revisionists.
In the end comrade Enver Hoxha proposed a toast saying:
Let us drink this toast to the friendship between our two peoples, of Ghana and Albania, to your health Madame Du Bois, whom we consider as an honoured friend of our country; to the health of the honoured President Kwame Nkhrumah,3 friend of the Albanian people. I beg you, convey to him my heartfelt greetings, as well as my regret that I did not meet him when he visited Albania, for I was not here at that time.
Published for the first time according to the minutes of the talk in the Central Party Archives.
1. American Negro poet, well-known fighter for the defence of black people's rights; he passed the last years of his life in Ghana which gave him its citizenship.
2. Hero of the Congolese national liberation movement, chairman of the first government of the independent Congo, murdered in 1961.
3. The coup d'etat of the year 1966 in Ghana overthrew the government of K. Nkhrumah.