Enver Halil Hoxha (Albanian pronunciation: [ɛnˈvɛɾ ˈhɔdʒa]; 16 October 1908 – 11 April 1985) was the communist leader of Albania from 1944 until his death in 1985, as the First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania. He was chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania and commander-in-chief of the armed forces from 1944 until his death. He served as Prime Minister of Albania from 1944 to 1954 and at various times served as foreign minister and defence minister as well.
After the break with Yugoslavia, Hoxha aligned himself with the Soviet Union, for which he had a great admiration. From 1948 to 1960, $200 million in Soviet aid was given to Albania for technical and infrastructural expansion. Albania was admitted to the Comecon on 22 February 1949 and remained important both as a way to pressure Yugoslavia and to serve as a pro-Soviet force in the Adriatic Sea. A submarine base was built on the island of Sazan near Vlorë, posing a possible threat to the United States Sixth Fleet. Relations remained close until the death of Stalin on 5 March 1953. His death was met with 14 days of national mourning in Albania—more than in the Soviet Union. Hoxha assembled the entire population in the capital's largest square featuring a statue of Stalin, requested that they kneel, and made them take a two-thousand word oath of "eternal fidelity" and "gratitude" to their "beloved father" and "great liberator" to whom the people owed "everything."
Under Nikita Khrushchev, Stalin's successor, aid was reduced and Albania was encouraged to adopt Khrushchev's specialization policy. Under this policy, Albania would develop its agricultural output in order to supply the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations while these nations would be developing specific resource outputs of their own, which would in theory strengthen the Warsaw Pact by greatly reducing the lack of certain resources that many of the nations faced. However, this also meant that Albanian industrial development, which was stressed heavily by Hoxha, would have to be significantly reduced.
Symbol of the Party of Labour of Albania. From 16 May to 17 June 1955, Nikolai Bulganin and Anastas Mikoyan visited Yugoslavia and Khrushchev renounced the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Communist bloc. Khrushchev also began making references to Palmiro Togliatti's polycentrism theory. Hoxha had not been consulted on this and was offended. Yugoslavia began asking for Hoxha to rehabilitate the image of Koçi Xoxe, which Hoxha steadfastly rejected. In 1956 at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, Khrushchev condemned the cult of personality that had been built up around Joseph Stalin and also accused him of many grave mistakes. Khrushchev then announced the theory of peaceful coexistence, which angered Hoxha greatly. The Institute of Marxist–Leninist Studies, led by Hoxha's wife Nexhmije, quoted Vladimir Lenin: "The fundamental principle of the foreign policy of a socialist country and of a Communist party is proletarian internationalism; not peaceful coexistence." Hoxha now took a more active stand against perceived revisionism.