The yearly Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City will be honoring a terrorist with American blood on his bands. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio remains silent about it.
The parade is honoring Oscar López Rivera as a “National Freedom Hero,” but his background suggests that he is anything but a hero:
López Rivera is one of the founders of the Puerto Rican Armed Forces for National Liberation (FALN), a terrorist organization that claimed to fight for Puerto Rico’s independence but in reality was a group that hoped to impose Marxism on Puerto Rico. They were even trained by Cuban intelligence.
In total, the FALN terrorists committed 138 bombings from 1974 to 1983. They eluded the FBI for years, but were eventually sentenced to life in prison, with the exception of William Morales, a key FALN bombmaker who fled to Cuba.
However, in 1999, President Bill Clinton, in an attempt to aid his wife’s Senate campaign obtain the Puerto Rican vote, granted clemency to all of the FALN terrorists except for López Rivera, as he declined the Clinton administration’s offer to renounce violence in exchange for clemency. Interestingly, Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign manager at the time was none other than de Blasio.
One of the places that the FALN terrorists bombed was the Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975, resulting in the deaths of four innocent Americans. López Rivera and the FALN terrorists never faced charges over the bombing, but it is believed that López Rivera was one of the key figures behind the attack. And yet Barack Obama granted him clemency on his way out of his office.
One of the Americans that was murdered in the bombing was Frank Connor, whose son, author and anti-terrorism advocate Joseph Connor, slammed the parade’s decision to honor López Rivera in a New York Post column.
“The words ‘disgrace’ and ‘outrage’ do not come close to describing the insanity, insult and pain that honoring this terrorist thug brings to our family, the families of all FALN victims and all Americans,” wrote Connor. “The idea is truly sickening.”
A number of sponsors have pulled out of the parade as a result of the decision to honor López Rivera, including the New York Yankees, Coca-Cola, and the New York Police Department’s Hispanic Society. Even the liberal New York Daily News announced that they would be pulling out from the parade.
“By lionizing López Rivera as the parade’s preeminent figure, organizers have inescapably compelled sponsors and participants to join in honoring a man convicted of abetting violent terror to achieve his aims,” the Daily News wrote in an editorial. “As Police Commissioner Jimmy O’Neill aptly said in declining to participate: ‘I cannot support a man who is a co-founder of an organization that engaged in over 120 bombings.'”
De Blasio, on the other hand, will still march in the parade, as he bloviated at a press conference: “The organization he was affiliated with did things I don’t agree with, obviously, and they were illegal. All things considered, I understand why so many Puerto Ricans in this city respect that he fought for Puerto Rico, in their eyes.”
Hot Air‘s Jazz Shaw dismantled the idiocy of this statement:
Look, I understand that you don’t want to risk alienating a set of minority voters in Gotham, Mr. Mayor, but … things you disagree with? Disagree? I wasn’t aware that there was a debate currently taking place in this country where any sane people who might seek elected office were coming down on the “pro-bombing” side. And it’s nice for you to point out that Rivera did things which were “illegal” but that’s a rather mild way of putting it. We’re not talking about somebody who bounced a few bad checks. He’s a terrorist who tought [sic] people how to build bombs and blow up buildings. You’d think the Mayor of New York City would be just a bit more in touch with the whole concept of buildings being blown up by terrorists.
It’s worth noting that back in January, de Blasio tweeted out jubilation about López Rivera’s clemency, writing: “Thank you @POTUS for freeing #OscarLopezRivera. Congratulations to all who fought for this day, including Speaker @MMViverito.”
At the time, Connor told The Daily Wire in an email that “de Blasio is a useful idiot” who puts “his terrorist sympathetic ideology above the good of the people of New York.” That statement still holds true today.