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Date: Mon, 14 Apr 97 12:56:15 CDT
From: "Workers World" <>
Organization: WW Publishers

Imperialism and Albania

Editorial from Workers World, 17 April 1997

The Communist Refoundation Party voted in Italy's parliament to oppose that government's plans to lead a neocolonialist invasion of Albania. This vote should focus the world's attention on the latest imperialist adventure in the Balkans. Rome will direct a contingent of 2,500 Italian, 1,000 French and 2,500 Greek, Turkish, Romanian and other troops to take over Albania--with a go-ahead from Washington.

For the past 11 months Refoundation has given parliamentary support to the so-called center-left regime in Rome. But now the party seems prepared to make a principled break with the Italian government.

The tottering Albanian regime came into power as a result of the counter-revolution that overturned the Eastern Europe and Soviet socialist states from 1989 to 1992. President Sali Berisha took over Albania with the full blessing of Washington and the other Western imperialist capitals. Until this year the ruling-class media in the West put the best possible slant on Berisha's rotten capitalist regime.

But this year the pyramid scams financing Albanian capitalism collapsed. The disillusioned Albanian masses rose up in anger and armed themselves. Only then did these same media admit Berisha was crooked, incompetent and hated by Albania's working masses. Now Italy's ruling class--the former colonial overlords of Albania--want to move back in to take direct control.

Albania's masses are armed, rebellious and anti-capitalist. The central government barely exists. Even without a clear revolutionary leadership in Albania, the uprising there has the imperialists terrified.

That's why the Italian-led occupation force has the full backing of Washington, Paris, Bonn and the other imperialists. They want the uprising stopped and disarmed before it either succeeds or inspires others. The Pentagon already has enough troops, ships and bombers in and around the Balkans to take the lion's share of the spoils from the region. This time Washington will let the Italian troops risk coming home in body bags.

Italy's right-wing parties are trying to use the Refoundation's principled vote to bring down the center-left government. But the right wingers are all for invading Albania. All of Italy's pro-capitalist parties support the Italian ruling class's lust to re-establish its colonial empire. This includes even the so-called Party of the Democratic Left.

The Italian working class should hold them all responsible when Italy's occupation of Albania turns into a repressive bloodbath and unleashes a retaliatory guerrilla war. And no one here should let Washington off the hook for this blatant reoccupation of the Balkans.

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