Oscar Lopez Rivera just spent 35 years in jail for his role
in leading a Marxist-Leninist paramilitary group. This group, called the FALN,
fought for Puerto Rican independence by carrying out bombings – some of which
killed civilians and injured police officers.
Organizers of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City
have invited Rivera to be the guest of honor at this year’s parade. At the
event on June 11th, they’ll award him the title of National Freedom Hero.
To Puerto Rican Day Parade:
Oscar Lopez Rivera carried out a violent campaign against the United States. He spent 35 years in jail. When then-President Clinton offered him clemency in 1999, the offer was conditional upon Rivera renouncing violence for life. Rivera turned down the offer.
In fact, Rivera would still be incarcerated if it weren’t for former President Obama, who commuted the remainder of his 55-year sentence before leaving office.
Communism and terrorism are both antithetical to freedom. Presenting Rivera with this award would be a mistake. The NYPD and NYFD Hispanic Societies have already backed out of the parade because you plan to honor this man. Please do not honor Rivera, and instead reinvite the NYPD and NYFD Hispanic Societies.