The United Macedonian Diaspora expresses its deepest condolences over the passing of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (Democrat), the father of current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who served as New York Governor from 1983-1995. Governor Mario Cuomo was a true friend to the Macedonian-American community.
In a speech to the MPO’s 67th Annual Macedonian Convention in Pittsburgh in 1988, Governor Cuomo stated the following: “If change comes within the Soviet Union, who then would dare say change is not possible for Macedonia? Yes, Macedonia’s situation is special. Macedonia’s situation involves more than a lack of sovereignty. Macedonia is a partitioned nation, part of it in the eastern block, part in the west. And the country of Macedonia doesn’t exist on any map, other than historic maps. But history teaches us that this should be no discouragement to your dreams…For nearly two thousand years Israel had no existence save in the heart of Jews. Poland disappeared from the map in the 18th century, but the hope of the Polish people never died. It burns bright enough still to be seen all over the world, and so should yours. One must always remember that nations are no composed merely of cities, forests, and mountains. Cities can be destroyed. Forests can be cut down. Even mountains can be leveled. The essence of nations is people: their intellects, their hearts, their souls, their memories, and their voices. As long as Macedonian minds remember, as long as Macedonian souls aspire, as long as Macedonian voices are raised, Macedonians will be indestructible. I know, ladies and gentlemen, that you will continue to carry on the peaceful struggle to bring the claims of the Macedonian people before the American government, the United Nations, and the court of world opinion. Please don’t be discouraged in that work. The world, and certainly the United States of America, needs the example of your courage, the example of your faith, the example of your commitment. It needs to understand that history isn’t merely a struggle in which the strong devour the weak. It needs to remember that ultimately freedom and security are based on mutual understanding and respect. It needs to be reminded that if progress is to come for some then it must come for all, for every nation and every people…You belong to that river of history. Only God can know when you will reach the sea, the sea of freedom and affirmation for Macedonia. But for all the time that it will take you, remember this: you share in the promise that says, ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied’ Continue to be proud of who you are. Never stop striving, and working, and believing. Never stop, for your own sake and for the sake of all of us.”
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