Goya Foods recently ended its long-time sponsorship of the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade after parade organizers decided to honor FALN terrorist Oscar López Rivera. Goya is the largest Latino food company in the United States and has had a relationship with the parade for 60 years.
“This decision was a result of an aggressive social media campaign against our company and excellent products, giving us the reason that we were sponsoring a terrorist and member of the FALN [Armed Forces of National Liberation], whose name is Oscar López,” a statement from Goya Foods to El Diario read.
A statement from parade organizers in response to the termination said, “We are very disappointed at Goya for pulling out of our Parade via a phone call and with no rationale other than ‘it was a business decision.’ We have learned more through the press, since we have not yet received any official notification, in writing.”
“After a 60-year partnership, we would expect to, at the very least, discuss this very serious matter face-to-face. In the end, Goya is jeopardizing the Parade’s commitment to 100 college and college-bound students who stood to receive Parade scholarships,” it continued
Lopez, who served 35 years in federal prison on charges of “seditious conspiracy” to overthrow the United States government prior to having his sentence commuted by President Obama, is unrepentant for his past convictions and is scheduled to be tapped by parade organizers as a “National Freedom Hero” on the day of the parade —
The FALN was responsible for over 100 bomb attacks in the United States during the 1970s and 80s.
New York State Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz wrote of Goya’s exit from the parade, “You should know that after so many years as one of the principal sponsors, Goya Foods has decided to end its contribution and participation in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.”
He added, “Those voices on the cutting edge of our community tell us why Goya is exiting the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. They foretell the very dangerous downfall that the Parade faces if Goya leaves, and some of them blame this on New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman,” noting a 2015 probe that led to the firing of the parade’s prior board members.
Diaz also said that JetBlue Airlines could withdraw their sponsorship from the parade.