NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand Sunday at New York City’s Dominican Day Parade.
Flanked by two powerful politicians who are pitching for him — New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat and City Councilman Guillermo Linares, both of Dominican descent — Cuomo marched up Sixth Avenue between 36th and 52nd streets to cheers from tens of thousands of spectators.
Under a blazing August sun, the Democratic governor shouted “Que viva la Republica Dominicana!” And the crowds responded with the same words, meaning, “Long live the Dominican Republic!”
While waving Dominican flags in one hand, many clutched a Cuomo campaign sign in the other, leaving no doubt they would re-elect him as their governor.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here today,” Cuomo said. “One of the things that makes New York so special is its beautiful diversity, and the Dominican community is a big part of New York City, New York state, and it’s been growing and growing.”
More than half a million Dominicans live in New York City, and they showed up in full force as well as full throttle, ratcheting up the decibel levels.
“It’s crazy! So many people, so much loud music, but it’s a good vibe,” said Marleny Nunez, 22, a Long Island nurse born on the Caribbean island.
Nunez stood behind police barricades that stretched up Sixth Avenue. Tight security included New York Police Department officers with assault rifles.
Still, smiles lit up the crowd as the parade passed. The red, white and blue colors of the Dominican flag were splashed all over Fleming Alexander Brea, sweating inside a carnival costume that’s become an emblem of the annual parade — the “diablo cojuelo” or “limping devil” character with huge, pointed teeth.
“I’m burning hot in this,” said Brea, 54, of West New York, New Jersey. “But this parade means everything to me as a Dominican: motivation, energy, my body, my soul.”
Singer/songwriter Henry Santos was named this year’s “padrino,” or godfather, of the parade.
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