Goya Foods has backed out of sponsorship of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, after 60 years of continuous support, and they’re not saying why. But it could have to do with one man?
The company spokesman told the NY Daily News that “it was a business decision… We make business decisions all the time.” He also said that the decision applied to “one year, this year.”
While Goya is staying tight-lipped as to why, (conspiracy?) theorists point to the parade organizers decision to honor one man, Oscar Lopez Rivera. Rivera is either a hero, an activist, or a terrorist, depending who you ask.
The 74-year-old man was a member of Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional Puertorriquena (FALN), an organization that claimed responsibility for more than 120 bombings (and six deaths) in Chicago, NYC, and D.C., over the course of 10 years in the late 70s and early 80s. FALN’s goal was a “free and socialist Puerto Rico”.
Rivera was arrested in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison but President Obama commuted his sentence in the final days of his presidency. Earlier this year, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade committee announced it would honor “political prisoner” Rivera at the parade. And shortly after, Goya pulled its sponsorship.
The largest and oldest Spanish-language newspaper, El Diario, reported that Goya pulled its sponsorship because of "...an aggressive media and social media campaign against our Company and its excellent products, citing as its reason that we sponsored a terrorist and FALN member by the name of Oscar López". El Diaro has since pulled that article and Goya has stuck to its “it’s a business decision” line.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is scheduled for June 11.