For many years, the country was one of Europe's poorest, without a single major ally, dominated by Hoxha's cult of personality.
The real base of their power has rested in the security and armed forces, and Hoxha and Shehu have divided this power.
Nothing seems to have changed in Albania from the 14th century to the Hoxha days.
Hoxha silenced the dissident elements, however, and had most of them expelled from the Party or arrested.
Hoxha did, however, pay lip service to the collective leadership principle enunciated in Moscow after Stalin's death.
The Hoxha school is the oldest military educational institution in the country.
Hoxha has regarded the security police as an elite group, and they have been the mainstay of his power.