NYC’s Puerto Rican Day Parade Organizer’s Decision To Honor Terrorist Leads to New York Yankees, Jet Blue, Goya Pulling Their Support
New York Yankees, Jet Blue Pull Support From Parade Honoring Terrorist Leader
The New York Yankees and Jet Blue pulled their support from New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade over organizers’ decision to honor terrorist organization leader Oscar Lopez Rivera, the New York Post reported Tuesday morning.
Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist who was serving 36 years in federal prison for leading the FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) terrorist organization that was responsible for around 100 bombings, including the 1975 bombing of New York City’s famed Fraunces Tavern. Four people were killed in that attack. Another bombing in 1982 maimed an officer at Police Headquarters.
Lopez Rivera’s sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama, and he was released May 17.
Goya foods announcing it would no longer support the parade over Lopez Rivera. Goya had been a main sponsor of the event for 63 years. New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill also declared he would not march in the June 11 parade.
“I can’t support a man who was the co-founder of an organization that engaged in over 120 bombings, six people killed and seriously injured police officers,” O’Neill said.
“I usually do march in most of the parades with the fraternal organizations, but I am not going to be marching this year. … I am not going to march.”
President Bill Clinton gave 12 FALN members a clemency deal in 1999. Lopez Rivera rejected the deal because it included a proviso that he would have to renounce violence, which he refused to do and FALN co-leader Carlos Torres was not offered the same deal. Torres, however, was paroled in 2010.
Democratic members of Congress who are Puerto Rican continue to support Lopez Rivera.
“The parade made a decision to honor him. He was freed. He denounced violence. So, it’s a decision that each one of them made,” New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano told The Daily Caller — later confirming that he does not think Lopez Rivera is a terrorist.
Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez compared Lopez Rivera to George Washington. He told Univision’s Jorge Ramos (translation by Newsbusters), “Look Jorge, I think that it is very important that the following be stated: and it is that our comrade Oscar López Rivera was never charged with what you are talking to us about right now. Let’s be clear. The FBI, the Department of Justice could have charged my comrade and brother (OLR) with that, or anything else, because he never recognized the jurisdiction of the colonial judicial system.”
Gutierrez went on to say, “Like all the great leaders and heroes of the struggle for the fatherland and for their nation. That is where he will be placed. Look, if this were the war for the independence of the United States, of the 13 colonies, Oscar Lopez-Rivera, in the London newspapers, they would have said the same of him that they said of George Washington. Look, the struggle for independence is a struggle that every people has the right to and a responsibility, as Oscar has said, to do.”
He added, “One day, soon, I hope to be here, in my homeland, fighting (for Puerto Rico’s independence) alongside my brother and leader Oscar López Rivera.”
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