On May 22, we reported that this year, New York’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade would be honoring one Oscar López Rivera, whose FALN terrorist group killed four innocent people in a famous 1975 bombing at the historic Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan. Although López was sentenced in 1981 to a 55-year prison term, Barack Obama – in one of the very last acts of his presidency – ordered him freed, despite López’s refusal to renounce violence. Not long afterwards, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced that this year’s parade would celebrate López – the supposed objective of whose terrorism was to gain Puerto Rican independence – as a “National Freedom Hero.”
As we noted on May 22, López is no hero of freedom. Besides, most Puerto Ricans aren’t looking for a hero of freedom. When asked to vote on the question, as they regularly are in plebiscites, residents of the island reject independence from the United States by overwhelming margins. In fact, most of them want their tropic isle to be an American state. It should be noted that what López wanted, and killed for, was not just independence but independence a la Cuba – in other words, another Castroite Communist dictatorship in Uncle Sam’s Caribbean backyard.
Our May 22 piece noted that Goya Foods, the #1 supplier of beans, rice, oil, and other food items to America’s Latino community, had backed out of supporting the parade because of Mark-Viverito’s reprehensible decision to honor a terrorist. Other sponsors, however, stood firm. For a while, anyway. That has since changed. In a May 27 editorial, the New York Post provided a list of some additional defectors from the list of sponsors. Since our May 22 piece, JetBlue, the Yankees, Corona beer, Coca-Cola, and AT&T – all of them longtime sponsors of the parade – had backed out of their association with it. They had been followed by Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, and by New York’s local Channel 4.
On May 26, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo finally yielded to pressure and let it be known that he, too, would skip the event, although he pusillanimously avoided saying why. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also changed his mind about participating. He was lily-livered too, attributing his inability to participate to a “scheduling conflict.”