[Pnews] Freed Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Phones Maduro, Backs Venezuelan Sovereignty

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 19 12:24:25 EDT 2017


  Freed Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Phones Maduro, Backs Venezuelan

By Lucas Koerner

Caracas, May 18, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com 
<http://venezuelanalysis.com/>) – Newly released Puerto Rican political 
prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera held a televised phone conversation with 
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday in which he voiced his 
solidarity with the South American country.

“For many Puerto Ricans, the future of Venezuela is be decided by the 
Venezuelan people and not by the United States or any other power,” 
Lopez told the Venezuelan leader during a live broadcast on Latin 
American multi-state network teleSUR.

The 74-year-old Puerto Rican independence fighter was released 
early Wednesday after serving 35 years in a US prison on dubious 
seditious conspiracy charges over his ties to the Puerto Rican Armed 
Forces of National Liberation (FALN).

His 70-year sentence was commuted by outgoing US President Barack Obama 
in January in response to a torrent of appeals by social movements and 
international figures, including Pope Francis and President Maduro, 
among others.

Following Lopez’s release, the Venezuelan head of state became the first 
world leader to talk with the lifelong revolutionary.

“Long live free Puerto Rico!” Maduro exclaimed. “Long live Venezuela! 
Long live President Maduro!” Lopez replied.

In addition to expressing his excitement at seeing Lopez walking free, 
the Venezuelan leader offered his country’s diplomatic support to the 
cause of Puerto Rican independence.

“Be assured that from all the trenches, from the Non-Aligned Movement 
and the UN Committee for Decolonization which we [both] preside over, we 
are at the service of the dignity and the future of Puerto Rico,” Maduro 

In past years, the Venezuelan government has campaigned actively for 
Lopez’s release alongside other regional governments and grassroots 
movements throughout the world.

In 2015, Maduro offered to release jailed far-right opposition leader 
Leopoldo Lopez – sentenced to over 13 years for leading 2014’s violent 
anti-government protests – if President Obama granted the Puerto Rican 
independence activist’s freedom.

Earlier Wednesday, Lopez Rivera held a press conference in which he 
thanked all those who worked for his liberation, including Pope Francis, 
Argentina’s Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, Uruguayan ex-President Jose 
“Pepe” Mujica, as well as the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

He also expressed solidarity with Venezuela as well as “those who defend 
the Bolivarian Revolution” and urged an end to US intervention in the 
South American country.

“I ask the US to stop interfering in Venezuela, to stop using people and 
structures to reach countries and create a hostile environment with 
violence,” he declared.

Following a visit to Chicago, where he spent part of his youth, Lopez 
plans to return to Puerto Rico where he intends to tour the island’s 78 
municipalities and put his skills to use as an organizer.

Published on May 19th 2017 at 11.07am

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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