He’s the biggest name on Broadway in a generation, and one of the most admired multi-hyphenates in show business since Orson Welles. He’s also an activist. The composer, lyricist, librettist, and star of Hamilton, the hottest ticket on the Great White Way in recent years, Lin-Manuel Miranda has supported a number of the left-wing causes to which famous performers are inclined to flock.
But so be it. That’s nothing unusual. What is rather special, as David Hines noted in a December article for The Federalist, is that Miranda is “an avid supporter of the Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist Oscar López Rivera, ringleader of the 1970s terrorist group FALN (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña / Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation), which murdered at least five and probably six innocent New Yorkers.” There is no decent way of defending their action. López and his followers were not just Puerto Rican nationalists; they were Communists who wanted to free Puerto Rico in order to turn it into a carbon copy of Castro’s Cuba.
López was sentenced to 55 years in prison, only to be released by President Obama at the end of his presidency in late 2016. López went on to be celebrated as a hero. He was, as we noted at this website, honored at last year’s Puerto Rican Day parade, an action that led several politicians and corporate sponsors of the parade to back out, along with many ordinary Puerto Ricans who were appalled at the apparent hijacking of their day, and their event, by supporters of Communist terrorism. Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, marched in the parade as scheduled.
How did López come to be the hero of last year’s parade? Among the top figures behind this disgraceful action were New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her aide Luis Miranda. And who is Luis Miranda? None other than the father of Mr. Broadway himself.
And how does Lin-Manuel Miranda feel about López? When the terrorist was released from prison, Miranda, who at the time had more than a million Twitter followers, hailed his freedom with a tweet in which he referred to López respectfully as “Don Oscar.” He also gave him a ticket to Hamilton and escorted him to the performance. As Hines wrote, wryly: “It turns out that there’s actually an answer to the question ‘Who do you have to kill to get a ticket to “Hamilton?”’ and the answer is ‘Harold Sherburne, Frank Connor, James Gezork, Alejandro Berger, and Charles Steinberg.’”
The first four names are those of the innocent people whom López and his crew killed in a bombing at New York’s legendary Fraunces Tavern on January 24, 1975; the fifth, Steinberg, died in another bombing two years later.
That wasn’t all. As Hines pointed out, in this era when a slip of a tongue can destroy a showbiz career, Miranda, who has continued to post tweets in support of López, and who now has more than 2.5 million Twitter followers, has never suffered any unpleasant consequences as a result. On December 19, his latest film, Mary Poppins Returns, opened. When big-budget motion pictures have their premieres, the stars are subjected to endless hours of interviews by entertainment journalists. As far as we know, not a single one of them has asked Miranda about his support for “Don Oscar.”