Who Is Oscar López Rivera? Puerto Ricans Demand Release Of Political Prisoner

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by Shanna Collins, VIBE

In a week after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, surmounting calls to end the imprisonment of Puerto Rican activist Oscar Rivera have gained more traction in the United States. According to Remezcla, when Roberto Prats of the Puerto Rican delegation spoke, his enthusiasm wasn’t the only thing that was noticeable; next to Prats were two shirts that read “Free Oscar Rivera: 35 years.”

“Included among the delegates’ unheeded recommendations was “recognition that Puerto Rico is a colony, the right for Puerto Rico to determine its future political relationship with the United States, restructuring of government debt,” and of course “the immediate liberation of the long-time political prisoner Oscar Lopez [Rivera].” CONTINUE READING.

Ex-Black Liberation Army Political Prisoner Sekou Kambui and Red Flame for Freedom Collective Share Experience with Puerto Rican Cultural Center

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Sekou Kambui and Karen Watson spoke to a meeting of the Program Coordinators of the PRCC on Monday, August 1. Sekou poke about his 47 years of incarceration in the Alabama prison system- he provided the audience with a vivid, moving description of his trials and tribulations as well as his ability to confront the many adversities of prison life.

Restarted his work as a jailhouse lawyer” and how he turned his legal skills to expose the horrors of the Alabama penal structure. The members of the Red Flame for Freedom Collective, then talked about their International to expose the modern day slavery manifested in sex trafficking, mass incarceration and children in poverty. Sekou also thanked the PRCC for its` solidarity throughout the years. Facebook Live video can be seen here: http://bit.ly/sekou-kambui-prcc.

Oscar López Rivera, “el último preso político puertorriqueño”

por Noticias Sputnik

“EEUU usa la prisión de Oscar López para que nadie se atreva a luchar por la independencia”, dijo a Sputnik en exclusiva, desde su estudio jurídico en Chicago, Jan Susler, su abogada desde que fue detenido en 1981.
López Rivera está encarcelado en EEUU desde hace 35 años y ha pasado los últimos años en la prisión federal de Terre Haute, Indiana. Este hombre fue un soldado condecorado por el Congreso de Estados Unidos por su desempeño en la guerra de Vietnam. Pero en 1981 fue sentenciado a 55 años de prisión por delitos que nunca fueron probados. Tras un intento de huida, le sumaron otros 15. Hoy es el preso político puertorriqueño con la sentencia más larga. En su tierra, López Rivera, que ahora tiene 73 años, es considerado como un héroe que luchó por la independencia de su país, invadido por Estados Unidos en 1898, al cual, desde entonces, le ha sido negado el derecho de autogobernarse. CONTINUE READING.

Cubanos y puertorriqueños unen sus voces por la libertad de Oscar López Rivera

por Geidis Arias Peña, La Demajagua

El pueblo de Granma y miembros de la brigada de solidaridad de Puerto Rico con Cuba Juan Ríus Rivera, alzaron su voz este martes por la excarcelación del boricua Oscar López Rivera, durante el espacio de reflexiónEn nombre de la Paz.
Declamación de poesías, versos improvisados y el compromiso de continuar la lucha por la excarcelación del independentista Ríus Rivera caracterizó al encuentro, que promueve hace 10 años el Instituto de Amistad de los Pueblos (Icap), en la provincia.
Vivian Zaldívar, quien se cartea con el luchador antimperialista, leyó una de las misivas recibida, donde él expresa “tus cartas forman parte de mi alegría porque me demuestran cada día que Cuba es nuestro hermano”.
Mientras pedagogos del territorio explicaron que mediante el estudio de la historia de América Latina, concursos y festivales de dibujos se fomenta en los jóvenes el ejemplo de López Rivera, el preso más longevo de la región.
Al respecto Milagro Rivera, presidenta de la comitiva puertorriqueña reconoció la labor desplegada en el territorio y llamó a ampliar los comités de solidaridad a favor de esta causa.
Su coterráneo Manuel Ramírez, aprovechó el contexto para leer las declaraciones de la brigada en saludo al VIII Encuentro Continental de Solidaridad con Cuba, que se desarrollará los próximos días 28, 29 y 30 de Julio.
“Allí reclamaremos al gobierno de Estados Unidos el territorio ocupado ilegalmente en Guantánamo y la derogación inmediata del criminal bloqueo”, apuntó SIGAL LEYENDO.

Rep. Gutiérrez Calls on President Obama to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera

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by Portside staff

Washington, DC – Today on the floor of the House during Morning Business, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) spoke about the last Puerto Rican political prisoner held in a federal prison, Oscar Lopez Rivera. Rep. Gutiérrez called on President Obama to commute Lopez Rivera’s sentence before he leaves office in January and announced a unity event to be staged in Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House in Washington, on October 9, 2016. The Congressman, who stood in front of a picture of himself with Lopez Rivera taken less than two months ago at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, said “commutation is the only option” because of Lopez Rivera’s advanced age (soon to turn 74) and that his next possible parole hearing will not be for 10 years. Rep. Gutiérrez also spoke of the broad support for President Obama to take action.
“It is now or never and President Obama holds all the cards,” the Congressman said. “We can’t allow Oscar to die in jail. Obama must commute his sentence.”
The Congressman outlined the broad support for releasing the non-violent, Vietnam veteran, who has been in federal prison for more than 35 years, whom the Congressman described as an “elder statesman of the Puerto Rican diaspora” and an “exemplary inmate.”
“From the richest to the poorest, whether you live in Bayamon, Ponce, Orlando or Chicago, New York City – the Puerto Rican people are united in our call to free Oscar Lopez Rivera. Internationally, Bishop Desmond Tutu is with us. And a long list of Nobel Peace Prize winners have joined the campaign to free Oscar Lopez.”
He urged everyone listening to his speech or watching it on-line to join him in Washington on October 9 at the event organized byLa Coalición por la Liberación de Oscar López Rivera. CONTINUE READING. 

Piden la liberación de Oscar López en Convención Demócrata

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por DAVID CORDERO, Metropr

En el contexto de la celebración del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, un grupo de puertorriqueños se manifestó ayer en la plaza del edificio de Servicios Municipales, justo en el centro de la ciudad de Filadelfia, a favor de la descolonización y de la liberación del preso político puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera.

Allí Metro conversó con el hermano menor de Oscar, José Elías López Rivera, quien relató que lo visitó en la cárcel hace aproximadamente un mes y medio, junto con el congresista boricua Luis Gutiérrez.

“Oscar es un hombre extraordinario. No lo digo porque sea mi hermano. Es un hombre que aprendió a vivir con la soledad. Los grandes seres humanos de la humanidad son las personas que viven dentro de la soledad y aprenden a utilizar la soledad como una expresión humana”, expresó José Elías.

En las pasadas semanas hubo un esfuerzo del grupo de delegados de Puerto Rico a favor de Bernie Sanders para que se incluyera en la plataforma del partido una expresión a favor de la liberación de Oscar. Sin embargo, no se logró esa inclusión.
“Hubo un llamado de muchos sectores. El hecho es que yo creo que para los demócratas es una situación que ellos la ven como muy problemática”, indicó José Elías. SIGA LEYENDO. 

Diáspora exige excarcelación de Oscar López Rivera en Filadelfia

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Laura M. Quintero, Enviada Especial EL VOCERO

FILADELFIA, Pensilvania- Ante la importancia que ha cobrado el voto de la comunidad puertorriqueña en las elecciones estadounidenses, la diáspora evidenció hoy el comienzo de una movilización y organización política para exigir atención a las causas de Puerto Rico en la plataforma y Partido Demócrata.
Con esta meta, el grupo Pennsylvania for Puerto Rico, como parte de la coalición de National Puerto Rican Agenda, se manifestó frente a la alcaldía de Filadelfia, en los predios de la Plaza Thomas Paine, donde dijeron presente líderes comunitarios, sindicales, políticos de Puerto Rico y de Estados Unidos, religiosos y figuras artísticas como Danny Rivera.
Entre los oradores principales se encontraba el hermano de Oscar López Rivera, José Elías López Rivera, quien exigió al Partido Demócrata, a Barack Obama y a Hillary Clinton, a “que si quieren ganar la Casa Blanca, van a tener que hacer concesiones a los puertorriqueños y entre ellas la libertad de Oscar López Rivera”.
Recordó que sin los estados de Ohio, Florida y Pennsylvania, Clinton no ganará la presidencia. “Ningún presidente ha ganado sin ganar a Ohio desde 1912. En Ohio, tenemos casi 100,000 puertorriqueños. La mayoría del voto latino son puertorriqueños. En Pennsylvania, hay medio millón de puertorriqueños (500,000). Los puertorriqueños constituyen el voto más grande de los latinos”, contó quien reside en Chicago. Entonces agregó: “El camino a la Casa Blanca va a ser a través de los puertorriqueños”.

In Lorain, OH, Congressman Gutiérrez Receives Rousing Welcome: Building for Freedom Concert for Oscar López Rivera

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By PRCC staff

Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez received a rousing welcome by hundreds of Puerto Ricans/Latinos in Lorain, Ohio as he initiated his efforts to build support for a massive freedom musical event to be held on Oct. 9, 2016 in Washington DC, demanding the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López.
In his opening remarks, Councilman Arroyo noted how Gutiérrez had become a voice for the millions of undocumented workers, for the defense of Puerto Rico and particularly for the release of Puerto Rican political prisoner López Rivera.
Luis spoke about how this issue had also been very important to him as well as the defense of Black Lives, the uplifting of women’s and gay rights, but, for him at this point, the freeing of Oscar López Rivera by Pres. Obama was a priority. Congressman Gutiérrez was invited by Lorain Councilman Angel Arroyo Jr. as part of an annual community festival in his predominantly Puerto Rican/Latino district. Councilman Arroyo was joined on stage by State Rep. Dan Ramos, the highest ranking Puerto Rican elected official in Ohio, and Mayor of Lorain, Chase Ritenauer, who also gave a warm welcome to Congressman Gutiérrez.
He acknowledged and thanked the President for releasing many people who had faced longed sentences, but it was time for him to free Puerto Rico’s and Latin America’s Nelson Mandela. He urged everyone to mobilize for Washington DC for the musical event being organized by the Coalition for the Liberation of Oscar López Rivera, on October 9, 2016 in front of the White House. Lorain was his first stop in moving this national effort.

Gutierrez says: Obama #Free Oscar Lopez Rivera Now – Support Oct. 9 Unity Event In D.C.

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Mr. Speaker, I will not be on vacation or traveling on junkets to far-off lands during the next 6 or 8 weeks that Congress is on recess.
Because I am involved in the campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera from incarceration.
Oscar López Rivera is regarded as the last political prisoner from Puerto Rico that is still being held in federal prison.
Oscar is a friend and a mentor and at 73 years old, he is not beaten or broken or sad, as you can see from his smile.
Even after spending 35 years in jail, nearly half of his life, he is a hero to many people in Puerto Rico and throughout the Puerto Rican diaspora.
It warms my heart that people from every walk of life now understand that the 35 years Oscar has served for crimes that were not violent is long enough.
That there is a groundswell of support to tell President Obama that after 35 years, it is time to let Oscar Lopez Rivera come home to his family, his Island, and his community.
Ya basta. 35 years is enough.
And this comes from people of every political background, conservative and liberal, statehooders and Populares and independentistas.
And every generation from the youngest, hippest kids like Residente of Calle 13 to old people like me.
From the richest to the poorest, whether you live in Bayamon, Ponce, Orlando or Chicago, New York City – the Puerto Rican people are united in our call to free Oscar López Rivera.
Internationally, Bishop Desmond Tutu is with us. And a long list of Nobel Peace Prize winners have joined the campaign to free Oscar López.
World leaders and community leaders and average people across Europe, Latin America and the world.
Oscar López is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. A father, a teacher, a mentor, a friend.
There is no blood on Oscar’s hands. Yet he has languished in federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana for three and a half decades.
President Obama has less than 200 days left as President and the chorus of supporters for the freedom of Oscar Lopez Rivera will continue to call on the President every day to release our brother Oscar back into our community so he can live out his days in peace and with his family.
And commutation is the only option. It will be a minimum of ten years before Oscar can talk – just talk – to a parole board. It is now or never and President Obama holds all the cards.
We can’t allow Oscar to die in jail. Obama must commute his sentence.
A coalition, La Coalición por la Liberación de Oscar López Rivera, has formed with lawyers, union leaders, elected officials, community leaders, citizens from every walk of life in Puerto Rico and whertever Puerto Ricans live around the United States. And the coalition just announced a unity event, a gathering in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House on October 9, 2016.
So, Mr. Speaker, when the Congress leaves here this week for six weeks or more, I am not going on a vacation, I am working to build awareness about Oscar Lopez and build awareness about October 9 in Washington.
El nueve de octubre en Washington. We all have to show up and show our support for Oscar and his family.
So, I will be in Lorain, Ohio this weekend, in Philadelphia and New Jersey later this month, in Puerto Rico, in California, and wherever I go I will be telling people to come to Washington to show support for Oscar López Rivera on October 9, 2016.
You live in New York? It is about a 3 and a half hour drive to D.C. Oscar López has been in jail for 3 and a half decades, so I don’t want to hear your excuses.
October 9 is a Sunday, so if you live anywhere up or down the Eastern Seaboard, you can go to the sunrise service at your church and still make it in time to show your solidarity with Oscar.
You live in Chicago or Orlando, okay, it will take you longer, you might even have to pay for a hotel or an airplane ticket, but your Boricua nation needs you to represent.
I ask everyone who is watching today or who sees my remarks on-line to commit yourselves to joining me and others in Lafayette Square on October 9 in Washington, DC.
It is up to us. It is up to you.
President Obama has done so much to address injustice, to address unfair prison sentences for non-violent offenses, to address the inherent injustice that all too often characterizes our system of justice – and I thank him and praise him for that.
But in this case, with this elder statesman of the Puerto Rican diaspora, for this non-violent, exemplary inmate, for this father and war hero…For Oscar López Rivera we respectfully say: Ya Basta. Free Oscar López Rivera.

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Exigen excarcelación de Oscar López Rivera, luego de 35 años preso en EEUU

por Cubadebate

El combatiente puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, de 73 años, cumple 35 de encarcelado en Estados Unidos, por lo que miles de puertoriqueños demandarán hoy en San Juan su excarcelación.
San Juan realizará hoy una marcha de 2,6 millas, para solicitar la excarcelación de López Rivera, no su libertad, pues de acuerdo con el portavoz del Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico, Eduardo Villanueva Muñoz,”no se puede liberar a un hombre libre, comprometido con la independencia y la soberanía de su patria”.

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Villanueva Muñoz subrayó que con la marcha se quiere enviar un mensaje al gobierno de Estados Unidos, en particular al presidente Obama, de que este es un reclamo del pueblo puertorriqueño, no de unos pocos.
Aclaró que, contrario a lo que en días pasados se divulgó en algunos medios del país a propósito de su visita a Puerto Rico, el expresidente Bill Clinton “está a favor que se revise el caso de Oscar”. Clinton indultó en 1999 a 19 puertorriqueños prisioneros políticos y de guerra, pero López Rivera rechazó una oferta de salir en una década porque no se incluyó a otros camaradas suyos, los que ya están fuera de prisión.
Muñoz Villanueva detalló que el próximo 20 de junio, cuando el caso colonial de Puerto Rico vuelva a revisarse en las Naciones Unidas, por lo menos en 35 países, uno por cada año, se harán actividades frente a legaciones diplomáticas de Estados Unidos “para reclamar que se excarcele a Oscar”.
Clarisa López Ramos, su hija, asegura que a sus 45 años de edad sueña con caminar al lado de su papá por las calles del Puerto Rico que lo vio nacer y que dejó a los 14 años, cuando emigró a Estados Unidos.

SIGA LEYENDO: http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2016/05/29/exigen-excarcelacion-de-oscar-lopez-rivera-luego-de-35-anos-preso-en-eeuu/#.V1WcwWNZacH