Letter to President Barack Obama: Free Oscar López Rivera
Dear President Obama:
In Martin Luther King’s commemoration week, I am writing this letter to join the thousands of fellow Puerto Ricans, Latin Americans and citizens of the world to ask for the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera. He has been in prison 33 years and 8 months for a sentence of more than 55 years for “seditious conspiracy” or rather to fight for Puerto Rico’s independence.
As you may know, Puerto Rico has been militarily occupied by the United States since 1898. The struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico is not a crime, it’s quite the opposite, it is the duty of all Puerto Ricans. Oscar López Rivera has not killed anyone, he is a hero and a patriot because he has offered his life and freedom for the emancipation of Puerto Rico.
During the broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s service in December 2013, I heard you taking highly about Dr. King, Gandhi, Lincoln and Mandela and I wondered how it is that President Obama does not realize he has a prisoner in the U.S. like Mandela. The struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico is a resistance movement similar to those led by Gandhi and Mandela. It is also a movement of human and civil rights similar to the one led by Dr. King in the U.S. and priest Óscar Romero in El Salvador.
The release of Oscar López Rivera is an opportunity for you to honor the legacy of Dr. King, Gandhi, Mandela, Romero and thousands of citizens of the world who have offered their lives for a supreme cause. If you do not do it, you are not consequent with the speech at Mandela’s funeral. You will become another U.S. President repressing Puerto Rico’s independence. We, the Puerto Rican independence movement, will not rest until we see a free and sovereign Puerto Rico. The sacrifice of Oscar López Rivera is inspiration for us to continue advocating for an independent and sovereign Puerto Rico and for defending human rights in all the world.
Please don’t procrastinate this decision, make justice, and release Oscar López Rivera now!
Jesús M. Pizarro Rodríguez