For some time now the world press has talked a little less about Albania and the precariousness of its outspoken Soviet-made regime. The war in Korea absorbs all the attention of political and military observers. Despite this, the Albanian sector remains one of the points of the Iron curtain most susceptible to unexpected complications. It can represent the vulnerable Achilles heel of the huge body of offense and defense of Russian imperialism. The Soviet Union realizes this and has already sent a general and many senior officers to Tirana to strengthen the rather shaken team of the small state. When UN forces have settled on the 38th parallel, jolts may arise along the entire line of the two blockades’ deployment armed against each other. And, the Russians justifiably think that their most faltering satellite is today the one ruled by the helletic Enver Hoxha. The other large and small powers, more or less interested in the Albanian question, also have the same opinion and do not avert their restless and scrutinizing gaze.
All the Powers, to varying degrees, try to attract into their political game the groups of Albanian exiles who, anguished at heart by the dramatic conditions in which the country finds itself, desire nothing more than to find ways and means to intensify the work intended to free it from the oppression and terror of the Kremlin emissaries.
This lively interest would be comforting if it did not conceal goals and projects often full of pitfalls for the future of the small Adriatic nation.
Tito wants to liberate Albania, overthrowing Hoxha’s Cominformist regime. His agitators penetrate the country and incite the people to rebellion. He promises help, valid political support and his sincere friendship. But the good Albanians, enemies of communism of every color, eagerly follow its political moves. Does Tito intend to remove the Albanian Cominformist thorn from his side and lend a hand to the oppressed people to shake up the Russian game and later help them by freely giving them the state structure to which they aspire? Or does he want to replace the current tyrant, creature of the Cominform, with a titoist proconsul?
Tito’s intentions, veiled in ambiguity, cannot persuade right-thinking Albanians to facilitate their subtle and deceptive game without clearly seeing the outcome.
The Greeks also aspire to play the role of liberators of Albania. A “sui generis (uniqe)” role, very strange indeed. There is an Albanian proverb that says: “You can’t hold two melons in one hand”. The Greeks wish to keep the friendship of the Albanian people and at the same time mutilate their territory to their advantage in the two most industrious and fertile southern provinces. Athens’ short-sighted, fanatical, uncompromising politics can be considered the best prop of Enver Hoxha’s regime. Perhaps for some time the fate of Albania would have undergone beneficial changes if the vision of the Albanian-Hellenic problem in relations had been less passionate and more serene in the responsible Athenian circles. Without this serenity of vision, the Greeks uselessly delude themselves to profit in the anti-communist struggle both from the territorial contiguity between the two nations and from the large nucleus of Albanian refugees, suitable for multiform jobs, residing in Hellenic soil.
America and England work to free all oppressed peoples from Moscow imperialism. With the creation of the Free Albania Committee, some strong Anglo-American political currents wanted to explicitly show their will to include Albania in the group of nations to be wrested from the bloody claws of communism. But which Albania? With what borders? No statement makes us aware of it. There is no doubt that US policy, inspired by sound democratic principles, cannot sanction unjust and insane plans for the partition of Albania or the reduction of its already so small national territory. But a precise and decisive statement by the State Department on this would dispel many distressing doubts from the soul of the Albanian who is worried by the inexplicable silence on the subject.
Only the policy of Rome today proves straightforward with regard to the Albanian problem. Its main interpreter, Hon. De Gasperi, clearly and unabashedly confirmed the palpable Italian interest both in the independence of Albania and in the integrity of its territory. This declaration was later repeated in Parliament and in the Senate by other qualified representatives of Italian politics.
This clarity generates profound gratitude in the Albanians combined with the tenacious hope that in the difficult hours their homeland will not lack the moral support of the Great Neighbor in those international forums where they deliberate on the destiny of peoples.