Under the above title, the newspaper Zeri i Popullit of December 6, carries an article by Professor Sofokli Lazri, which says:
Presidential and parliamentary elections will be conducted in Serbia on December 9. Although they in Yugoslavia, and certain west European circles expect that these elections will give a way out to the Yugoslav crisis, it seems there is no hope for such a thing. There is no difference between the electoral programs of the parties which have been formed and the statements of their leaders. What is common between them is extremist nationalism and what is peculiar is a fierce war for power. All swear to make "big Serbia" bigger, to realize more surely and sooner the establishment of Serb hegemonism throughout Yugoslavia.
All parties adopt a unanimous stand regarding Kosova, all of them are for carrying on Milosevic’s policy, precisely that policy which divided the federation and led the country to the threshold of civil war.
It would seem that Serbia still does not want to realise that it is not only a grave but even fatal mistake to maintain Kosova occupied and not to grant it the same rights as the other nations of Yugoslavia. In case it is not corrected soon, it will lead not only Serbia but the whole Yugoslavia to a more profound crisis.
Firstly, Serbia is not capable of oppressing for a long time three million Albanians and subduing the Bosnians, dominating the Macedonians and ignoring the Hungarians. A Serboslavia cannot exist for long relying on the bayonets.
Secondly, no one would permit a South African type apartheid in the fold of an emancipated Europe. At a time when the observation of human rights is being turned into the general base and norm of establishing inter‑European relations one cannot think of ignoring the peoples national rights and the more so of violating them. If this will not be done, then the whole philosophy of human rights will end.
The maintenance of Kosova’s occupation is really a great suffering for Kosova, but at the same time it is an expression of the agony of the archaic big Serv chauvinism. Events prove that peace will be established neither in Serbia nor in Yugoslavia if the Albanians’ national rights are not recognized.
But the Yugoslav crisis is also a crisis of ideology and political mentalities of the big European powers regarding the treatment of the Balkan countries during this century, it is a crisis of the system of tutelage and clientele practiced on them.
The formation of the Yugoslav state, just as it has been an aspiration of the Slav peoples of the South to free themselves from the Ottoman and Austro‑Hungarian domination, has also been an offspring of the big powers, created to realize their strategic‑political plans in the ever lasting confrontations that have divided Europe. And Yugoslavia’s destiny has changed depending on the alliances, confrontations and relations among the big European powers. At first it was a barrier to Austro‑Hungarian expansion towards the South and later on became a link in the cordon sanitaire round Soviet Russia, it was decided fifty‑fifty between East and West to serve as a buffer zone between them and was turned into a ground for all tests and experiments of the Cold War between the two blocs.
Now when the situation in Europe is changing and the strategic importance of Yugoslavia has lessened, it is more difficult for this state to survive, because the international atmosphere that nourished it, and all the external restrictions that maintained Yugoslavia’s nations united or subdued are lacking.
The messages addressed to Yugoslavia from far and wide voice their great concern for the maintenance of its integrity. But how?
The big European powers which created andmaintained it yet have no interest to replace the policy pursued towards it until now. The motive alone to reimburse the debts is very important to be turned into a strategic interest.
Certainly, they too realize such a situation, but still having no constructive alternative, consider it as routine. They act according to the old strategies at a time when they are no longer necessary, something that increases the confusion.
You often hear, that Markovic’s economic program will save Yugoslavia as a state, that it is enough to
continued page 4 — Kosova
Kosova ‑ continued from page 3
establish the market economy, consequently all the political, national, constitutional problems and contradictions, etc, will be solved.
Such preachings sound very sweet but they are not convincing at all. Prior to the Second World War, Yugoslavia had both the market economy and multi‑party system. Its peoples, ruled by an ultrareactionary regime, overthrew it through much blood and sacrifices and ousted the fascist invaders. After the war, they had another economy, but still they were not satisfied. History showed that both in the first and second case, decisive for the existence of the Yugoslav state and the coexistence of its peoples has been neither the economic system nor the multi‑party system, but the international relations.
Naturally, the improvement of the economic situation, the raising of the living standard of the masses, influences the improvement of the political situation, but not to that extent as in other countries. If in a national state the socio‑economic relations are of first rate importance, in a multinational state as in the case with Yugoslavia, it is the national equality that is of primary importance. When such an equality does not exist, when there is no political consensus of the nations it is comprised of, no problem can be solved through any kind of economic reform.
Today all the peoples in Yugoslavia, the Croatians and Slovenians, Bosnians and Albanians, Montenegrins and Macedonians, have accepted and endorsed Markovic’s reforms, although they know they will also create economic and social differences. Nevertheless the situation will not improve. On the contrary it will deteriorate to that point as many people state that it is better for Yugoslavia to dissolve than to survive as it has to date. This happens because Markovic’s reform is incomplete, because it does not deal with the fundamental problem, that of political equality among the nations, because it sets no alternative for a new historic solution so as to ensure the maintenance and strengthening of the identity and sovereignty of different ethnic groups with no exception. As such it cannot be turned into a force of cohesion and integration.
More than two million Albanians will not participate in the polls to the new Serbian parliament.They stated that in Kosova province, now proclaimed a republic by its Assembly, Serbia has no right to claim any kind of power. But their non‑participation in the polls cannot be considered to be simply a boycott. It is a real plebiscite through which the Albanian population expresses its will to be an independent political entity embodying all the political, national and human rights.
In order to convince itself and foreign public opinion the Serb propaganda claims that the Albanians in Yugoslavia are allegedly a minority, therefore they can not have the right to create a state, or to be equal participants with the Slav nations in the federation. This is a propaganda claim which is wrong and completely false.
First of all the Albanians in Yugoslavia are not a minority. They are four, five or more times greater in numbers than the Montenegrins, more than the Macedonians, and occupy the third place, after the Serbs and Croatians, as far as the size of their population goes.
Secondly, in a multinational state there can be no minority nations because the problem woud arise that all those people whose population is less than that of the biggest nation would be called minorities and consequently according to the concept of the Yugoslav leaders would have to submit to the latter.
Another claim is the one according to which there can be created no other state in the territory of Serbia. It is a great absurdity as the Albanians do not live in any territory of Serbia. They have been living in their territories for thousands of years and have not plundered an inch from the others’ territories.
continued in The Marxist‑Leninist , Vol 21, No. 10
or reading, or politics. They know what they want, just like they know what they aim to attain.
In the political negotiations on the future of Yugoslavia, the Albanians wish to be equal participants with the federal units. This is not only a right, but also a condition for the good beginning of the solution of the constitutional crisis of Yugoslavia. To continue to ignore the Albanians means to complicate further the situation and make it unresolvable.
But the Albanians know the stands of the Croatians and Slovenes, just as they know the stands of the European states. Certainly they are grateful also to those American Senators who have manifested their sympathy for the Albanians of Kosova, as well as to the European parliamentarians that have condemned the violation of human rights in Kosova.
But the violation of the rights of the individual is not the sole problem of the Albanians in Yugoslavia. It is a greater problem, the refusal to recognize the national rights, from which originate those of the individual. Therefore, whoever says that he defends human rights in Yugoslavia, must also say that he defends the right of the Albanians too, to be equal political subjects with the other nations of Yugoslavia. There cannot be the right of the individual without national rights. This is what the Albanians are asking for from their friends and not words of consolation that the solution of the problems of the Albanians in Yugoslavia is conditioned by the democratization of Albania or by factors other than in Yugoslavia.
The Albanians have never refused the aid of friends, when it has been sincere, whether it has been substantial or modest. But they have relied more on their own forces, struggle, on their right. It is precisely this struggle that has enabled them to distinguish those who love them from those who deceive them, to become aware of the present and of the perspective.
The Albanian question and the Yugoslav crisis have another aspect too. If there are quarrels and clashes in Yugoslavia, if the Yugoslav state will not be stabilized, then peace in the Balkans might be shaken. It is precisely for this reason that the peoples of the Balkans in particular require not only a stable Yugoslavia, but certainly a Yugoslavia which is democratic and friendly with all the neighboring countries.
Such a Yugoslavia is in the interest of Europe, too. With a balkanized Yugoslavia and a troubled Balkans, Europe cannot live in peace and the European processes cannot develop as initiated. Such a Yugoslavia, sooner or later, would impose onto the European countries inevitable confrontations among them. Willingly or unwillingly they would start preferring this or that republic, sympathizing with this or that nation, supporting this movement and opposing another. There will emerge those old quarrels Europe has suffered from and now is trying to abandon and overcome. It is precisely this objective situation, this reality that makes the Yugoslav crisis not simply a Yugoslav one. Unless it is solved in a democratic way and to the interest of all its peoples, sooner or later, it could be transformed into a Balkan crisis and later into a European one.