The Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York on June 11, a 60th annual anniversary this year giving a hero’s honor to a former leader of a bomb-planting Puerto Rican nationalist group.
It was up to the parade’s leadership to choose who was honored, Mr. de Blasio insisted, and he intended to march in tribute to the Puerto Rican people “simple as that,” he said.
The organizers announced in early May that Mr. López Rivera would march at the front and be honored as a National Freedom Hero.
Mr. López Rivera spent more than 35 years in prison for his actions as a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, which set off more than 100 bombs in the 1970s and 1980s, killing five people in New York and injuring scores.
On May 17, when he was first asked about the parade, Mr. de Blasio told to press he did not agree with the violent methods, but voiced something to sympathy for him, saying that Mr. López Rivera was a Vietnam veteran.
The parade’s major corporate sponsors, including Goya Foods and Coca-Cola, cut their ties over Mr. López Rivera’s participation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he would not march, as did Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, who called Mr. López Rivera a terrorist. Mr. O’Neill on Monday reiterated his decision not to march.
It’s simply to understand who is real hero’s honoree and who is Terrorist. We shall not forget on May 22 bombing in Manchester, England. It put in the position of decrying the bombing there while seeming to play down Mr. López Rivera’s association with his group’s deadly bombing campaign.
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