Ah, yes, but we had equality! And free health care!

Most Albanians view Hoxha’s 40-year rule, when the country was cut off from the world much as North Korea is now and a pervasive secret police clamped down violently on dissent, as a dark period in its history that caused widespread misery and triggered a massive exodus after communism collapsed.

But Nexhmije Hoxha, who was jailed for nine years for embezzlement soon after Albania became the last country to topple communism in 1990, stayed loyal to his memory.

“When the standard of living was compared to the west, it can be considered modest, but there was an egalitarian spirit,” she said in a 2008 interview.

Few would – or do – defend Albania’s lost years on the basis of that headline.

It’s disgusting how many defend Cuba’s on that same basis.

6 thoughts on “Ah, yes, but we had equality! And free health care!”

  1. She loved egalitarianism so much, she was forced to embezzle some money to make herself richer in a poor country……………..

  2. During Hoxha’s rule Kosovo in what was then Yugoslavia became majority-ethnic-Albanian as a result of the flow of refugees *walking* over the mountains from Albania (there also arose a significant Albanian minority in Macedonia). By Hoxha’s death there were more Albanians outside Albania than inside it.
    Albanians were fleeing *to another Communist country*. What does that tell you?

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    One of the most disgusting defences of Cuba I’ve heard was that child mortality was slightly lower than the USA.

    I pointed out that was because in Cuba child mortality rates were a government set targets on pain of imprisonment for doctors and nurses which led to very late abortions and the registering of deaths during birth as being 5 days after the event I was disbelieved. Providing links to academic research didn’t wash either, anti Americanism was strong and I was a stooge.

    The person’s whole defence of Cuba was based on that “fact” and it trumped killing gays and every other human rights violations so they had a strong incentive to ignore the truth.

  4. I always feel the relatively large number of defenders of Cuba vs North Korea can only be assigned to an element of Left wing racism. Koreans tend to be hard working, self-reliant and suspicious of government hence of very little use to the various Corbinites, Greens, XR sympathisers, Murphyites, Owen Jones fan boys and such like that constitute the Modern Left. Similarly Albanians weren’t considered especially useful until the manufactured concept of Islamophobia put Muslims near the top of the identtity politics ‘pole’ – for Hoxha, the problem was more one of timing. His policies were very similar to those proposed by Richard Murphy in the ‘Green New Deal’.

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