Enver Hoxha, effective leader of Albanian the world's only remaining Stalinist state, celebrates his 70th birthday on October 16, in a year which has seen Albania sever the final links with one-time ally, China.
MV Hoxha waving hat
MV Chou En-lai down aircraft steps and embracing Hoxha
GV Chinese and Albanian flags
MV Hoxha and chou En-lai seated talking
GV Military parade
LV Hoxha and dignitaries on rostrum taking salute and CU Hoxha giving clenched first salute (2 shots)
GVs Rocket launcher, trucks carrying artillery pieces; armoured personnel carriers (3 shots)
MV Hoxha clapping among crowds
MV Crowd singing and clapping
CU Hoxha with woman and child
MV Women clapping and singing
Hoxha seated under tree with crowds around him (2 shots)
LV May day parade with posters of Hoxha and other Communist leaders
SV Dancers in street
LV Hoxha with dignitaries applauding
SV Crowd waving flowers and chanting
GV PULL OUT TO LV Hoxha applauding and CU Hoxha waving (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Enver Hoxha, effective leader of Albanian the world's only remaining Stalinist state, celebrates his 70th birthday on October 16, in a year which has seen Albania sever the final links with one-time ally, China.
SYNOPSIS: Close ties with China lasted for eighteen years. In 1966, Hoxha's warm embrace with Chinese Premier Chou En-Lai, on a visit to Albania, summed up the relationship between the countries. Now, they are separated by ideological differences, and former ties cut.
Albania, having relied successively on neighbour Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and China for economic survival, stands in total isolation to world Communism. Albania's successive breaking with the three countries, over more than thirty years, shows the vehemence with which Mr. Hoxha has pursued his central them in Albanian politics -- that ideological purism overrules economic arguments.
It is a policy that has resulted in bitter political confrontations among the Albanian leadership. mr. Hoxha, known for his abrupt way of dealing with political opponents, has seen them removed from office in a series of purges. Since 1974, most of Albania's senior technocrats, the country's entire military leadership, and half the Communist Party Central Committee, have been replaced.
Mr. Hoxha's unwillingness to deviate from the principles he began in the late 1940's has left albania without a single political ally. Yet, the strategic importance of the small Balkan state, bordering the Adriatic, maintains the attention of both the West and Soviet Union. And with an economic potential to be harnessed, it seems that Mr. Hoxha will be forced to seek economic ties at least.
He hinted, in a recent speech, that Albania was willing to have friendly relations with neighbouring countries, regardless of their political systems. It seems unlikely, though, that this political veteran of the Communist world could compromise his strict outlook more than he deems absolutely necessary. Since founding Albania's communist Party thirty-seven years ago, he has been the pivot of the country's political attitudes. Through those years, he has survived the in-fighting to remain leader of the powerful Party of Labour -- a post he is unlikely to lose in his seventieth year.