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Sponsors Abandon NY Puerto Rican Parade Over Oscar Lopez Rivera

Univision is the latest sponsor to pull out of the Puerto Rican Day Parade over the controversial decision to honor Oscar Lopez Rivera. This after Coca-Cola, Goya, Corona, The NY Yankees, and various police and law enforcement groups also abandoned the parade. Rivera was a leader of the infamous Puerto Rican independence group the FALN, which carried out several attacks in the 70’s and 80’s including the bombing of Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan in that left four people dead. Though it could never be proven that Rivera was directly involved in the bombing, he was sentenced to fifty-five years in prison for his various activities. His sentence was commuted after thirty-five years by President Obama.

While many in the Puerto Rican community view Rivera as a hero, others view him as a terrorist. It was odd of the Puerto Rican Day Parade people and their sponsor CUNY to choose Rivera given the controversy. It all boils down to that old saying, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. Either way the parade is hemorrhaging sponsors and without sponsors there is no parade. Given that the Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the largest Latino events in the country it would behoove them to choose less controversial people to honor in the future.

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