What You Should Know
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz 32nd Senatorial District
You should know that when I was growing up in La Cuchilla Hato Tejas in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, my father, Mr. Isaac Diaz Amezquita, from a place called El Volcan always used to say: “My friends are my friends with their virtues and their faults.”
Plain and simple, what my Old Man wanted to say was that no matter what situations or problems his friends faced, he would never abandon them, no matter the cost because they were his friends. For my Old Man, friendship was a sacred thing, not an opportunity.
It is important for you to know that it seems that this is not one of the ethical principles or virtues that some of our elected officials show to their friends in their time of need.
Some of these elected officials, as Jesus' disciples did, will abandon their friends, their beliefs, and their convictions when under pressure.
On previous occasions in my column, I have explained how Mr. Eric Schneiderman, back in February 2014, used the power, influences and resources of the Office of the Attorney General to remove all the Members of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade's Board of Directors.
According to rumors, Mr. Schneiderman placed the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) in the hands of his friends from the MirRam Group and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, so they could pick a new Board of Directors and Ms. Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez as the new President.
Now that Mr. Eric Scheiderman's friends have caused a chaotic situation not only for the 2017 National Puerto Rican Day Parade, but also within our community here and in Puerto Rico, Mr. Schneiderman has run for cover.
Back in 2014, when the Attorney General made that decision, I was, if not the only one, one of the few people who publicly criticized and opposed Mr. Schneiderman's actions. Time has proven me right.
Now, I am one of those opposing the actions of the current National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board of Directors, and believe that for the good of the Parade, they should be removed and new Members who really respond to our community's interests should be appointed.
On the other hand, I also believe that Mr. Schneiderman should stand beside his friends. After all, he was the one who appointed them. His responsibility is to own his actions, publicly admit that he made a mistake, and fix it.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is the pride of us Puerto Ricans, but this year’s Parade has been abandoned, one by one, by businesses, community groups, social agencies, political leaders and many, many sponsors.
Starting with Goya Foods, Jet Blue, the New York Yankees, Corona Beer, Univision, Telemundo, the Daily News, NBC, the New York Post, the New York Police Benevolent Association, the New York Fire Department, New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and many others have abandoned the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, and its Board of Directors who were placed there by Eric Schneiderman.
But surprise, surprise, as the old saying goes: Life is full of surprises.
Ladies and gentlemen, my beloved readers, you should know that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has also joined those who have abandoned the Parade and its Board of Directors.
It seems that Mr. Schneiderman has run for cover leaving his friends hanging out to dry.
Don’t forget that it was Eric Schneiderman who put in place the Members of the Board of Directors. It was Eric Schneiderman who said that he was replacing the Board of Directors for the good of the Parade and the good of the community.
In his official press release from February 13, 2014, Mr. Scheiderman stated: "With the reforms we are announcing, the new board can now take responsibility for putting the NPRDP on firm footing, so that the parade can be a success both this year and well into the future."
By abandoning his friends, Mr. Eric Schneiderman has sent a message that he is also against the title of “National Freedom Hero” given to Mr. Oscar López Rivera by the Board of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Maybe Mr. Schneiderman and other elected officials in New York State should also learn from my Old Man and stick with their friends no matter what, or learn from Mayor Bill de Blasio who is sticking his neck out for his friend, Melissa Mark-Viverito.
I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.