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The drug state that skipped democracy

ALBANIA: Why does the West support a country that is in the clutches of organized crime?

Fatos Lubonja
Fatos Lubonja is an Albanian writer who spent a total of 17 years in prisons and forced labor camps during Enver Hoxha's regime. He is the author of a number of books which have been translated into Italian, German, English and Polish. Among other prizes he received the Alberto Moravia Prize for International Literature in 2002 and the Herder Prize for Literature in 2004. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatos_Lubonja

In the spring of 2019, members of Albanian opposition parties decided to relinquish their parliamentary seats. They had evidence of co-operation between organized criminals and the party that held power in the previous election, and did not want to help maintain a democratic facade in a drug cartel called "Europe's Colombia" by The Independent newspaper.

The opposition chose protests and civil disobedience as a method of raising awareness among its own people and among Western politicians. But from Brussels came a condemnation and a clear support for the current government. Brussels' main argument can be summed up as follows: You have made progress towards our standard of living, so now you must not take a step back.

Deputy Secretary of State Matthew palmer, now a US representative for the United States in the region, declared in a broadcast from a pro-government Albanian television station that any politician who calls for violence during the boycotted local elections will be banned from entering the United States. (Approximately the same attitude has prevailed against the opposition's anti-authoritarian protests in Serbia and Montenegro.)

The support given to the Albanian drug state by the Western establishment is mainly based on the West's aversion to acknowledging that neoliberalism and globalization have failed.

How do you explain the support for authoritarianism, corruption and the ever-increasing cooperation between the Albanian government and organized criminals? Some critics point to the spread of democracy's "stabilocracies" [states that regularly hold elections but have authoritarian leaders who govern through informal networks, editor's note] as the cause. Others emphasize geopolitical reasons, such as the risk of increased Russian or Turkish influence in the region.

The fact that the Albanian government has protected Iran's mujahedin is cited as an explanation for American support.
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