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A phone call between brothers

Oscar-Lopez libertadOscar López Rivera will be able to fulfill his longstanding wish to see the sea up close once again. He’ll be able to sit on the shore eating pigeon peas, and caressing the face of the independent Puerto Rico he dreams of. He will come to Havana in November, from where he will be able to see the same Caribbean Sea, but this time from a free land.

This, according to Decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Fernando González, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICPA), speaking on May 17, in the terrace of the organization’s headquarters.

Some 200 people gathered there, watched and listened as Fernando and the Puerto Rican activist spoke via telephone.

Brother, they kept repeating to each other.

Silence reigned as attendees listened intently to Oscar, who was difficult to hear at times due to a bad connection.

“I always imagined that one day we would see you walk through that door… Today, as we celebrate your true and definitive release, I recall our years together in U.S. prisons. Those were the best years, if you can talk about years spent in prison as “best.”

“We’ll be able to sit beside you on the Havana Malecon and talk. We await you as our brother,” stated Fernando after reaffirming Cuba’s support for Puerto Rico’s independence struggle, a cause to which Oscar has dedicated his life.

Meanwhile, López Rivera thanked Cuba, ICAP, and the island’s people for their unwavering solidarity.

“Oscar gets out today and will be met with a colony (Puerto Rico) in chaos, where attempts are being made to privatize higher education,” stated Edwin González Vázquez, a representative of Puerto Rico’s mission in Cuba.
“However, he will continue fighting for decolonization. This fight is the party of which Oscar will become a member,” he stated.

The first photos of Oscar that have been circulating the globe since his release, show our brother dressed in black, with an image of the Puerto Rican flag on his shirt. They show him smiling as he greets followers and supporters before getting into a white Jeep, escorted by the mayor of San Juan as he made his way to a government office to have the electronic bracelet, which monitored his movements, removed.

This is the Oscar who returned to Puerto Rico. Some 50 people, bearing flowers and national flags, chanted ‘Free at last!’ accompanying the activist as he walked around the San Juan neighborhood of Santurce.

Meanwhile, another group from the University of Puerto Rico, surrounded the car in which he was traveling, singing hymns.

This is the Puerto Rico that received Oscar.

Oscar-Lopez libertadSentenced in 1981 to 55 years in prison, López Rivera speaking at that time, stated that Puerto Ricans have the right to fight for the island’s independence by any means necessary.

Various media outlets reported on the activist’s visit to the U.S. city of Chicago, May 19, where he lived from age 15 up until his incarceration.

There, the Latino community welcomed the independence fighter andunveiled a sign designating a street named in honor of Rivera, in the Humboldt Park area.

The first images of Oscar since his release show him near the sea and among his people, including one with Residente, frontman of renowned Puerto Rican hip-hop group Calle 13. There have also been reports of Rivera’s plans to travel to other countries such as Nicaragua and Venezuela, in order to thank the people for their solidarity and efforts to secure his release – but not before paying a visit to the town of San Sebastián May 21, where he was born and lived until he was 15 years of age.


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