Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Puerto Rican Nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera Ends House Arrest


A crowd gathered in the streets of the Puerto Rican capital's Santurce district, holding flowers and Puerto Rican flags and chanting: "Free at last".

Lopez Rivera's daughter Clarisa Lopez Ramos thanked the worldwide support for her father and for the fight to protect the island's main public post-secondary education institution, the 70,000-student University of Puerto Rico, as it faces massive cuts as part of a harsh austerity plan to tackle the island's massive debt load. Puerto Rico nationalist and FALN leader, Oscar Lopez Rivera, will be freed on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, after serving the longest prison time of any member of the violent separatist group that sought independence for the USA territory.

Jose runs down a litany of education reforms and programs in which Lopez Rivera was instrumental-Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES), the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and the Latino Cultural Center (the first of its kind in Illinois) at the University of IL in Chicago. It claimed more than 100 bombings in USA cities in the 1970s and '80s, including multiple attacks at banks and corporate offices in Chicago.

But for Joseph Connor, who was 9 when his dad, Frank, was killed at the tavern table, the struggle is much more personal.

Puerto Rico nationalist and FALN leader, Oscar Lopez Rivera, will be freed on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, after serving the longest prison time of any member of the violent separatist group that sought independence for the US territory.

He also said he believed an upcoming referendum on Puerto Rico's status will be an "exercise in futility".

Lopez Rivera is set to be honored with a special "National Freedom Hero" award at next month's Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan.

That request was denied, and Lopez Rivera was eventually sentenced to 55 years in prison - a sentence nearly 20 times longer than those handed down for similar offences. "Don Oscar will spend his twilight years on the island for which he sought independence, and this feels fitting", Miranda said in an email.

Belfast and Derry vigils in solidarity with Manchester
On a day when General Election campaigning was suspended in the wake of the attacks this was the country at its very best. Eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, 18-year-old Georgina Callander and 26-year-old John Atkinson were among those killed.

The Twitter account for Venezuela leader Nicholas Maduro heralded his release.

He was arrested in 1981 and charged with "seditious conspiracy" for his role in a variety of FALN activities. At his sentencing, a federal judge termed him an "unreconstructed revolutionary".

(AP Photo/Ed Bailey, File).

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton offered Lopez Rivera a pardon in 1999, but he rejected it in an act of solidarity with other Puerto Rican activists who had not been offered clemency, teleSUR noted. Then in 2011, the U.S. Parole Commission denied his request for an early release.

His sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in January. He had been staying with his daughter at her home in San Juan.

Now 74, Rivera never faced any charges for the Fraunces Tavern bombing or the New Year's Day bombings that wounded three NYPD officers including Det. One of the bombings, at the Fraunces Tavern in NY in 1975, killed four people and injured more than 60 others.

In 2012 the people of Puerto Rico voted in favor of becoming the 51st state of the United States.

Puerto Rico has been under USA jurisdiction since 1898, and its people have been US citizens since 1917.

Like this: