GOP City Council candidates strongly oppose Puerto Rican Day Parade honoree
It usually takes a volatile issue to unite politicians running against each other in an election. District 43 City Council candidates Bob Capano, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione have all raised their voices in opposition of this year’s 60th National Puerto Rican Day Parade honoree Oscar Lopez Rivera and the support he has received from New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Lopez Rivera, whose 70-year sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in January, is one of the leaders of Armed Forces of National Liberation (Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional/FALN), an organization responsible for committing acts of violence against New York police officers and the fatal 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan that killed four people and injured more than 50 others.
McCabe told the Brooklyn Eagle, “The parade organizers should focus on raising much-needed capital for education for Puerto Rican children, rather than raising up a divisive figure. If you had told any New Yorker 16 years ago that an individual associated with committing terrorist acts would be leading a parade down Fifth Avenue, they would have laughed you out of town.”
The Democrats running for the City Council are Justin Brannan, Kevin Peter Carroll, Rev. Khader El-Yateem and Nancy Tong. The seat is currently held by Vincent Gentile, who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election.
“New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is a radical leftist hell-bent on celebrating and defending criminals over law abiding citizens,” Capano said. “It would also be nice if one of the several Democrats running for City Council in the 43rd District would demonstrate some courage and independence and stand up to one of their leaders.”
Quaglione also questioned Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mark-Viverito’s support of Lopez Rivera, adding, “Saluting terrorists or their helpers could not be more wrong. I support the Puerto Rican people, but I cannot support an event, especially after recent incidents, that extols violence and praises those who’ve killed civilians and injured police. By supporting this terrorist, Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito are turning their backs on the families of the New Yorkers who were killed and the police who were maimed as a result of his actions. It’s a sad day.”