Last week we questioned the positions of several public officials concerning the convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera and the place of honor planned for him in the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade.
We recalled the raw edge of racial politics engaged in by Presidents Clinton and Obama on the issue of his release from federal prison. And closer to home we discussed how New York City’s two top elected officials, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, were paying homage to leftist liberation theology and depicting him as some sort of political prisoner worthy of public adoration. And both insisted, unequivocally, that they would march with him in the parade.
Since the appearance of last week’s editorial, and in the face of growing opposition, it appears Mr. Lopez-Rivera informed parade organizers that he no longer wished to be honored. While Speaker Mark-Viverito has not addressed the latest developments, the mayor now says he had never seriously considered marching with Mr. Lopez-Rivera.
Referring to private conversations with parade officials, the mayor said he “made clear to them that I was uncomfortable with the situation, and I wanted them to resolve it…. If it wasn’t resolved , I wasn’t going to be comfortable being a part of it.”
Hardly a threat not to march. Asked why he had earlier taken a totally different public position, he said he had been trying to be diplomatic “because I believed the parade committee was seriously trying to grapple with the issue, and I wanted to give them some space to do it…. Sometimes to get something done, you hold your tongue in public.”
We make no further comment other than to quote this from The New York Times of Monday, June 5:
The mayor’s remarks on Monday were the latest phase in the surreal excursion that the parade has produced since its organizers announced in early May that Mr. Lopez Rivera would march at the front and be honored as a National Freedom Hero.