The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is saddened to learn the news of the passing of our friend Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida, at age 84, from pancreatic cancer.
Congressman Hastings distinguished himself as an attorney, civil rights activist, and then a member of Congress. Serving 15 terms, Mr. Hastings was a champion for human rights and minorities – the first African-American to serve from Florida since the post-Civil War period, the first African-American to chair the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and the first and only American to have ever served as President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
Congressman Hastings’s leadership will never be forgotten by UMD and the Macedonian-American community. He stood by Macedonia when others shied away, he was a founding member of the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans, which marks ten years this month, a strong supporter of Macedonia’s NATO membership, and was a staunch advocate for the human rights of Macedonian minorities in Albania, Bulgaria, and Greece through his work with the U.S. Helsinki Commission.
Bog da go prosti! (May God rest his soul in Macedonian)