Nexhmije Hoxha, widow of Albania’s communist dictator, dies at 99

Nexhmije and Enver Hoxha. Under her husband’s reign, Albania broke off links with other communist states and was for decades completely isolated from the outside world. (Courtesy Facebook)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Nexhmije Hoxha, widow of Albania’s communist dictator, dies at 99

  • Nexhmije Hoxha passed away at home in the modest Tirana apartment where she lived with her daughter and her niece
  • Hoxha, who outlived her husband Enver by more than 30 years, never showed any remorse over his reign of terror

TIRANA: Nexhmije Hoxha, the wife and loyal defender of the former communist dictator who ruled Albania for more than 40 years, died on Wednesday at age 99, her family said.
She passed away at home in the modest Tirana apartment where she lived with her daughter and her niece, her daughter-in-law told AFP by telephone.
In a statement to the media, her son Ilir Hoxha expressed his “sorrow” and said his mother “dedicated her whole life to the liberation of the homeland and the construction of a new Albania, to progress and the emancipation of Albanian society.”
Hoxha, who outlived her husband Enver by more than 30 years, never showed any remorse over his reign of terror.
After Albania’s communist regime collapsed in 1991, the widow served five years in jail for embezzling public money.
She was also personally implicated in the executions, deportations and arbitrary arrests that marked her husband’s regime.
But she never missed a chance to praise her husband, once calling him “not a dictator but an ideal leader who knew how to defend his country from foreign and local enemies threatening Albania’s existence.”
“What should I be ashamed of? Why ask for a pardon? I do not regret anything and there is nothing I should feel guilty for. We only respected laws in force at the time,” she told AFP in a 2008 interview.
During the regime’s 1945-1991 rule, 5,577 men and 450 women were executed, more than 26,000 people were imprisoned and 32,000 deported, while 77,000 perished in labor camps.
Born into a family of ethnic Albanian Muslims on February 8, 1921 in the Macedonian town of Bitola, Hoxha met her future husband, 13 years her senior, at a clandestine meeting of the Albanian Communist Party in 1941.
They married a year later and she embraced his revolutionary ideas based on the teachings of Marx and Lenin, reaching the top ranks of the communist party herself.
Under her husband’s reign, Albania broke off links with other communist states after World War II and was for decades completely isolated from the outside world.
Hoxha spent her later years living in a Tirana suburb, where she wrote her memoirs “My Life With Enver,” surrounded by books, pictures and memorabilia.
She will be buried in a public cemetery on Thursday, her family said.


Philippines coronavirus testing to be stepped up soon: WHO

Updated 31 March 2020

Philippines coronavirus testing to be stepped up soon: WHO

  • The coronavirus death toll in the Philippines rose to 78 on Monday
  • WHO said it expects testing to substantially increasing in the coming days

MANILA: Coronavirus testing is expected to increase substantially in coming days in the Philippines, where the high number of deaths relative to confirmed cases reflects lower testing so far, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.
The coronavirus death toll in the Philippines rose to 78 on Monday — the second highest in Southeast Asia outside Indonesia — with 1,546 reported infections.
“With respect to the high proportion of deaths in the Philippines, that’s essentially because of the way Philippines has chosen to test,” WHO technical adviser Matthew Griffith told a news conference, referring to the focus on testing only the most severe cases until now.
“We expect the testing to increase substantially in the coming days.”