Univision is the latest major sponsor to yank its support from next month’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Daily News has learned.
The New York-based Spanish-language network joins a long list of major brands that have bailed on the popular event, due to the controversial decision by organizers to honor recently released FALN nationalist Oscar López Rivera, whose group has been connected to more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s.
Outraged sponsors have been dropping like flies since López Rivera will participate and be named the parade’s first-ever National Freedom Hero. Others who have dropped in what has become a cascading boycott include Goya, Jet Blue, the Daily News, the Yankees, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Corona and the FDNY officers’ union.
“WXTV Univision 41, WADO 1280 AM and La X 96.3 will not be sponsors of this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. Our station’s news team will continue to provide news coverage of the event as we do with other similar events of this size in our community,” Univision said in a statement to the Daily News.
“In lieu of participating, we will redirect funds to the organizer’s scholarship fund to benefit Puerto Rican students.”
Univision had no plans to broadcast the event, but the network had intended to sponsor three floats in the parade. Employees and talent from Univision had been expected to appear too.
López Rivera, who spent over 35 years behind bars, was a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) that took credit for over 100 bombings during the 1970s and 80s. Those bombings took place in both Puerto Rico and the United States.
Four people died in a bombing attack on Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan in 1975.
López Rivera’s sentence was commuted by former President Obama shortly before he left office in January.
The parade is scheduled for June 11.