When President Barack Obama announced he commuted the sentence of Oscar Lopez Rivera many Americans were outraged. Rivera, one of the leaders of the terrorist Puerto Rican separatist group FALN, was serving a 55 year sentence for major gun smuggling and explosives crimes. But not everyone was upset. Democratic Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio actually cheered the decision.
De Blasio, an ardent gun control advocate, tweeted, “Thank you @POTUS for freeing #OscarLopezRivera. Congratulations to all who fought for this day, including Speaker @MMViverito.”
FALN was responsible for more than 130 bombings, many of which took place in New York City, including the 1975 bombing of a Wall Street bar that killed four.
Rivera was offered clemency in 1999 by then President Bill Clinton on condition he renounce violence. Rivera declined.
Rivera was convicted of “seditious conspiracy, armed robbery, illegal transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property.” An additional 15 years was added to his sentence in 1988 after a failed escape attempt.
De Blasio tweeted his message in both English and Spanish.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 18, 2017