Were all of you just as confused as I was when several weeks ago our City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, just couldn't contain herself and had to fly down to Puerto Rico to personally greet and hug Oscar Lopez Rivera on the day he was released under a commutation issued by (then) President Obama?
Perhaps I should mention that Speaker Mark-Viverito's newly released terrorist buddy was co-founder of The Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), a Marxist-Leninist organization, which in the 1970s fought to make Puerto Rico an independent communist nation and was responsible for more than 100 bombings in New York, Chicago and other cities, including the 1975 bombing at Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan that killed four people and injured 43.
Lopez Rivera was convicted of several serious charges including, seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, and the interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison in 1981. At the time of his arrest, Lopez Rivera declared himself a to be combatant in an anti-colonial war against the United States to liberate Puerto Rico from U.S. domination but his request to be assigned "prisoner of war" status was denied. By the way, our Council Speaker's buddy was also sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for conspiring to escape from the Leavenworth federal prison in 1988.
So anyway, Mark-Viverito travels to Puerto Rico and hooks up with her just released convicted FALN terrorist buddy and then arranges to bring him back to New York City to be "honored" at the upcoming Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11. Fortunately, for those of us here in NYC of sound mind, there are several organizations and prominent individuals out there: (Univision, NBC, Telemundo, Jet Blue, AT&T, Coca Cola, Corona, Goya Foods, the NY Yankees, Governor Cuomo, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Police Commissioner James O'Neill, as well as the Hispanic Societies of both the NYCPD and NYCFD to mention a few), who actually think Mark-Viverito's idea of honoring a terrorist at a parade in a city having lost thousands of citizens to terrorist attacks might not actually be in good taste and have stated they will not sponsor or participate in the parade. To add fuel to the fire, just 10 days after Lopez Rivera release, yet another terror attack in Manchester, England killed 22 innocents.
Of course, as far as Speaker Mark-Viverito is concerned, all of that is just "water off a duck's back" as her priority has always been anchored to her dream of an independent Puerto Rico and not with the citizens of this city as their elected official or her obligation as a United States citizen.
Case in point — as a councilwoman, Mark-Viverito long refused to recite the pledge of allegiance at the start of each Council session as a symbolic act of protest against the United States because she was looking for Puerto Rico to become independent. Of course, once she realized she could run for and win the Council Speaker’s position, political expediency trumped ideology, and Mark-Viverito was suddenly standing tall and proud in the Council Chamber reciting the pledge of allegiance along with her colleagues. Soon thereafter she won the speaker’s position with a unanimous vote of the City Council - go figure!
State Sen. Ruben Diaz, a Democrat who is also from Puerto Rico, also has had harsh words for Mark-Viverito in the past. "She doesn’t care about America," said Diaz, who added that he believes Mark-Viverito is "a communist from Puerto Rico." Diaz’s comments came following a 2014 ceremony commemorating the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011. Mark-Viverito was the only attendee who chose not to put her hand over her heart during the national anthem, which caught the eye of those who knew of Mark-Viverito’s continual refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the City Council and elsewhere. "She goes on sacred ground and disrespects America that way," said Diaz following the incident. "It’s disrespectful to the heroes, the fallen who died on 9/11, it’s disrespectful to the victims and families of 9/11."
You should also know that Lopez Rivera is not the only terrorist Mark-Viverito supports. Earlier this year, and less than a week after the Paris terror attacks, she tweeted a eulogy for the convicted terrorist Isabel Rosado Morales, calling her "our icon and national patriot." Morales had been imprisoned three times for seditious acts, the final time in 1954, for her involvement in a plot that culminated in an attack on Congress by four Puerto Rican nationalists. Firing from the House gallery, they shot and wounded five U.S. congressmen. Morales was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the assassination attempt.
This unseemly support for violent terrorists from a top city official, second only to the mayor, begs the question posed by Joseph Connor whose father, Frank, was killed in the lunchtime FALN bombing of Fraunces Tavern on Wall Street back in 1975 - “What kind of low-life politician sides with terrorists over the very citizenry she is sworn to defend?”
Speaker Mark-Viverito will have to depart the City Council in 2017 due to term limits. All I can add to that is...thank God for term limits!
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