2017-05-26 / Editorial/Opinion

Richards Sends Wrong Message

On May 22, the New York City Council sent a letter to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board to commend them for their support of Oscar López Rivera, who will be honored at this year’s 60th National Puerto Rican Day parade.

“We commend you for recognizing that Oscar López Rivera represents the voice, tenacity and resolve of Puerto Rico and its people,” states the letter. “As countless families continue to struggle in Puerto Rico’s current fiscal crisis, Oscar is a reminder of the hope that has always anchored the Island — and that’s why we fully stand behind your efforts to honor him…”

A staunch ally of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Councilman Donovan Richards signed the letter.

Was it political? Perhaps. But a quick history lesson might be in order.

In 1975, the bombing of historic Fraunces Tavern in the city’s Financial District left four dead and wounded more than 50 others. In 1977, an FALN bomb killed 26-year-old Charles Steinberg, who was working at the Mobil Building at 150 East 42nd St. On New Year’s Eve in 1982, a bombing at Police Headquarters maimed three cops who tried to defuse the explosives.

Rivera, is one of the founders of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), a group that claimed responsibility for the Fraunces Tavern, Mobil and NYPD bombings and more than 120 bombings throughout the U.S.

In 1981, López Rivera was arrested. In his Chicago apartment, the FBI found six pounds of dynamite and four blasting caps along with numerous fake IDs. He was convicted in federal court of seditious conspiracy, violation of the Hobbs Act, illegal weapons possession, and interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicles.

"I am an enemy of the United States government," López Rivera told federal judge Thomas McMillen in 1983.

That’s all a matter of public record.

Yet, President Bill Clinton still offered to commute the sentences of 16 imprisoned FALN members in 1999, a pardon López Rivera refused, in part because one of the conditions for his pardon would require he denounce violence and his terrorist past. He remained in prison until President Barack Obama commuted his sentence in 2016.

In the last few weeks, Goya Foods -- which has sponsored the Puerto Rican Day parade since its inception -- pulled its financial support, as has JetBlue Airways, and the New York Yankees.

Yet, Richards chose to double down on the controversy and stand with a convicted terrorist who has never shown any remorse for his role as a founder of a terrorist organization that has several deaths on its hands, including those of New Yorkers.

In Rockaway, you’d think an elected official who represents a community who has lost so much to the hands of terrorists would be more sensitive to that.

Don’t take our word for it, Councilman Rory Lancman said it best when the City Council passed a resolution to push for clemency for López in 2015, a position he refused to take.

“Oscar Lopez Rivera was convicted of extremely serious charges in connection with the FALN’s campaign of terror and murder in the United States, for which he has never offered an apology or shown any contrition at all,” said Lancman. “Millions have peacefully pursued the goal of Puerto Rico’s independence within the democratic political process in both Puerto Rico and the United States. Mr. Lopez Rivera chose violence, and we should not honor or dignify that choice.”

It’s too bad Mr. Richards doesn’t feel the same.

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Yourbuddy donavan

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Wave donavan richards controls your paper here more proof of the bad representives we have to honer a killer and embarrish the people of puerto rico to be honored at that parade by our councilman this ridicules donavan the man was amurder and killer If i could i would like to run for city council in farrockaway even to debate donavan if anyone want the coalition of the rockaways bruce jacobs to run against theze sellout politisians email brucej4418@gmail.com 7182130570

What was in the Parade

What was in the Parade Committee's Kool Aid that they chose to honor this guy just unbelievable!!!!

Tbe coalition of the

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