Puerto Rican parade tries to move past storm over militant
NEW YORK - New York's Puerto Rican Day Parade has dealt with controversy even before the decision this year to honor a former nationalist who spent decades in prison as part of a group that bombed buildings in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sunday's march will take place as a debate rages over honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera as National Freedom Hero. Corporate sponsors dropped out; Hispanic, gay, and Asian societies of the police and fire departments won't march, nor will Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
But the parade has over the years feted several nationalists, plus a telenovela star with a checkered past - with less backlash.
Lopez Rivera spent 35 years in prison as a former member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation or FALN. His sentenced was commuted by former President Barack Obama, and he was released last month.