Two revealing segments from a recent edition of Univision's weekly Al Punto public affairs show demonstrate just how toxic FALN terrorist Oscar López Rivera had become to the 2017 National Puerto Rican Parade. As parade day fast approached, Univision shifted its coverage and made room for divergent voices - which had not happened previously.
Tellingly, after withdrawing under pressure its parade sponsorship, Univision finally aired the controversial call between López Rivera and Venezuelan tyrant Nicolás Maduro that triggered so much recoil within the Puerto Rican community. Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles reacted below:
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA: Well, well, Mr. President, I believe that the Puerto Ricans who love the homeland here, we are sure, sure, sure, that Venezuela will prevail. And we hope it prevails. And we hope that the United States cannot do what it has planned, and what they aspire to do.
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: Long live free Puerto Rico!
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, EX-LEADER, FALN: Long live Venezuela!
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: Long live Oscar López Rivera and the dignity of our America.
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, EX-LEADER, FALN: Long live President Maduro!
NICOLAS MADURO, PRESIDENT OF VENEZUELA: I hope to see you soon and greet you.
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, EX-LEADER, FALN: We are going to greet each other and we are going to give each other a hug soon.
ALFONSO AGUILAR, PRESIDENT, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES: And here we see the farce of Oscar López. He says he has rejected violence, but the first thing he does is call Nicolás Maduro, who has blood on his hands, who is violating the human rights of his people, where there have been more than 62 murders in Venezuela perpetrated by his authoritarian regime, and the first thing this man does is call to identify himself with an authoritarian regime that violates human rights and uses violence. Oscar López has not repented, and continues to favor violence, and his comments are an insult to the Venezuelan people. And again, all Puerto Ricans, the vast majority, left and right, Democrats and Republicans, reject the acts of Oscar and rejected his recognition in the Puerto Rican parade.
The first sign of a shift was evident when Univision changed the coverage of the parade controversy from its national desk to its New York bureau, shortly after pulling its sponsorship. The second sign was when U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez was absent from this Oscar-related segment after having previously been his main cheerleader on national Spanish-language television. Those terrorist apologist duties shifted instead to Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel for New York-based Latino Justice. The third sign was that Ramos played this interview a lot more down-the-middle than before. Thus, Univision viewers finally got to see some balance in its coverage of the convicted FALN terrorist. With his last word on the matter, Aguilar conveyed the sentiment of the vast majority of the Puerto Rican community:
ALFONSO AGUILAR, PRESIDENT, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES: Oscar López is one of the founders of a terrorist organization. He helped organize conspiracies, schemes, to commit acts of violence in which persons were harmed, and even murdered, civilians. And even explosives were found in his possession.
Violence, committing acts against civilians, is terrorism. And he is a terrorist, and he has blood on his hands. And the majority of Puerto Ricans, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, have repudiated Oscar López being recognized in the Puerto Rican parade. And have repudiated his behavior and terrorist activities.
There are those who would have preferred MRC Latino to have remained silent while Univision, the nation's leading Spanish-language media conglomerate, was whitewashing the record of a convicted terrorist while sponsoring a parade in his honor. But that was never an option. From time to time, a watchdog is going to have to bite.
<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>