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Enver Hoxha

Hoxha, Enver (ĕnˈvĕr hôˈjä) [key], 1908–85, Albanian Communist leader and general. A founder (1941) of the Albanian Communist party (Albanian Labor party from 1948), Hoxha headed the radical resistance group in Italian-occupied Albania during World War II. General secretary of the party from 1943, he was premier (1946–54) of Albania after its proclamation as a republic. Hoxha was also minister of foreign affairs (1946–53) and commander in chief of the army (1944–54). He maintained close ties with the Soviet Union until its rift with Communist China in 1961; he then joined Beijing in its ideological struggle against Moscow and was branded as a Stalinist by Soviet and other Communist leaders. He stopped Albanian participation in the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact) and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). In 1977, Hoxha broke ties with China, protesting that country's liberalization and the U.S.-China rapprochement. Under Hoxha's rule, Albania remained one of the least economically developed and one of the most isolated countries in Europe. Hoxha died in office in 1985, and was succeeded by Ramiz Alia.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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