How do you get several sponsors to change their minds about the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City? Invite a terrorist. How do you really ensure the sponsors won't show up? Give the terrorist an award.
Organizers for this year's parade have decided to honor Oscar López Rivera as a "National Freedom Hero." Rivera served 35 years in prison for helping conduct a series of bombings with the Puerto Rican nationalist group F.A.L.N. across the U.S. He was on track to serve a 70-year sentence until President Obama pardoned him.
Rivera's parade invitation incensed the NYPD, the NYPD’s Hispanic Society, the FDNY officers’ union, and the FDNY Hispanic Society, all of which have pulled out of the event.
This bit of history from the New York Post will help explain why the NYPD is not interested in marching alongside Rivera.
Rivera, 74, had his 70-year sentence commuted by outgoing President Barack Obama in January. He had spent nearly 36 years in prison on conspiracy charges for his ties to the Puerto Rican nationalist group the FALN, which was responsible for more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and ’80s — including a 1982 blast at NYPD headquarters that left an officer maimed and a 1975 attack that killed four at Fraunces Tavern in the Financial District.
Joining these police groups' boycott are the New York Yankees, AT&T, JetBlue and Goya Foods.
Rivera's presence does not seem to Univision, who is still a sponsor and even taking on the task of defending the terrorist. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also still plans to show up because he appreciates that many Puerto Ricans believe Rivera was "fighting for them" when he helped plan bomb attacks.