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Sponsors abandon Puerto Rican parade in NY after nationalist honored

27 May 2017

By withdrawing their sponsorships, Univision and other traditional corporate sponsors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City have listened to the voice of the overwhelming majority of their audiences and consumers, says the Media Research Center (MRC), America's leading media watchdog.

Cuomo's announcement came as NBC 4 NY and Telemundo 47 also said they'd boycott the parade, scheduled for June 11, which marches up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from 44th Street to 79th Street.

Parade organizers have stirred controversy over their decision to honor Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera.

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FALN is a Spanish-language acronym for the Armed Forces of National Liberation, a group law enforcement officials said carried out bombings that killed civilians in the 1970s and '80s.

Lopez Rivera was not charged with carrying out any of the bombings himself, but he was convicted of charges including seditious conspiracy and served more than 35 years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.

MARIA ELENA SALINAS, NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: The Univision affiliate in New York, Univision 41, WADO (1280AM), and "La X" 96.3 will not sponsor the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade this year.

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"It became clear that the debate about this year's parade was dividing the community", JetBlue Airways Corp said in a statement on Monday.

Lopez Rivera wasn't convicted in any of the bombings, but a former FALN member testified that he instructed members on how to make bombs, detonators and silencers. In a statement, Diaz called their decisions "incredibly disheartening".

FILE PHOTO - Placards bearing the image of Oscar Lopez Rivera are seen readied for a party, after his release from house arrest in Puerto Rico, ahead of his return to Chicago, Illinois, U.S. on May 18, 2017.

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"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", the letter said. And he's been linked to no act of violence in New York City.

Sponsors abandon Puerto Rican parade in NY after nationalist honored