Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the incarceration of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican considered by many to be one of the longest-held political prisoners in the Western Hemisphere. What follows is the original message in English López Rivera shared with Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día:
To love the homeland costs nothing, what would be costly is if we lose it. For any Puerto Rican who has doubts about how costly it would be if we lose our homeland i suggest the person should visit the Navajos’ or the Lakotas’ reservations. Because there the person can see what happens to people who lose their homeland. We must face the truth and deal with it. As Puerto Ricans we have to accept the fact Puerto Rico is a colony and that colonialism is unacceptable to most Puerto Ricans and most nations in the world. If we accept this truth then we must be ready and prepared to kickstart a decolonization project.
This project must call for the unity of all the factions that make up the independence movement and of the progressive elements that see the need to create our own nation. A decolonization project goes beyond a CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. We have to make sure the us government and the international community (especially the Latin American countries) assume their responsibilities and commit themselves to help with the implementation of the project. We have to define the role the Puerto Rican diaspora is going to play.
We know any problem created by man has a solution. Colonialism is a man-created problem. We also know we have the human resources in Puerto Rico and in the Puerto Rican diaspora to resolve this problem. We know that in almost a century of being a u.s. colony the development of our nation has been thwarted and derailed. We know we have a debt that will take many future generations to repay it. We can’t allow for future generations to inherit nothing but debt and social, political and economic problems. Let’s face the problem of our colonial status. Let’s work to find a solution for it. Let’s decolonize our minds and spirits and become real citizens of Puerto Rico.
For people who have said that i don’t want to come out of prison i would like to suggest they pay attention to what i have said during all the years i have been in the gulags and some of the history of our political prisoners. The fact that i’m the Puerto Rican political prisoner who has spent more time in prison doesn’t erase the fact that other Puerto Ricans political prisoners have spent almost as many years as i have. For example, Carlos Alberto Torres spent over 30 years in prison and Don Oscar Collazo Lopez spent 29 years. Rafael Cancel Miranda spent 27 years, and Lolita Lebron and Irving Flores Rodriguez spent 25 and Andres Figueroa Cordero spent 24. Many of the compañeros(as) who came out of prison when Clinton allowed them to be released in 1999 spent over 19 years and the others over 16 years. That’s a lot of years spent by Puerto Rican political prisoners. If we were to ask any of the above-mentioned political prisoners if they wanted to come out of prison their answer would be on the affirmative. None of us wanted to be in prison in the first place and none of us have entertained the absurd idea of staying in prison. Before coming to prison i had a life full of great experiences. i enjoyed and celebrated that life. And while in prison, in spite of it been the most dehumanizing, toxic and hostile environment any human being can experience, i still feel i have had a life and that i can celebrate all my life for all the great things it has given me. i don’t have hatred or fear in my heart and i do want to leave prison with my honor, my dignity and my spirit intact, safe and sound.
i believe the truth will survive and prevail just like our just and noble cause has been able to do for centuries. i’m a Puerto Rican and i don’t want to be anything else. But i consider myself also a citizen of this universe we live in. i believe a better and more just world is possible and that’s one of the main reason i chose to struggle for the independence of my homeland. i say “woe to him/her who has no homeland”. Much love. EN RESISTENCIA Y LUCHA, olr.
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[…] Source: Oscar Lopez Rivera’s Message to the World […]
After the approval of the 33rd United Nations’
resolution by consensus on June 23, 2014 asking the United States (US) to
immediately decolonize of Puerto Rico, we should work together to force the
United States government to comply with it.
The facts that the United States government has maintained
Puerto Rico as its colony for 116 years, has had Oscar López Rivera in prison for 33
years for fighting for Puerto Rico decolonization, and has ignored 33 UN
resolutions to decolonize Puerto Rico, confirm that the US government has no
intentions of ever decolonizing Puerto Rico.Therefore, we need to form a tsunami of people to force the US to comply
with the 33 resolutions.
We should peacefully protest at least 3 times a year until
we achieve our goal.The first one will
be a march up to the US Courthouse in Puerto Rico on the Abolition of
Slavery Day on March 22.The second
will be another march in Puerto Rico on a day before the UN’s Puerto Rico
decolonization hearing.The third one
will be a protest in New York City on the same day the UN holds its Puerto
Rico decolonization hearing.
These 3 protests are indispensable, because those who
have colonies don’t believe in justice for all.
Timón del Pueblo
United Partners for the Decolonization of Puerto Rico
Who’s the radical, Oscar López Rivera or the US?
There are some who call for keeping Puerto Rico political
prisoner Oscar López Rivera in prison forever, because he is a radical
terrorist responsible for the killing and injury people.That’s not true, but even if it were, he
would still be not guilty. Is Oscar really
It was the government of the United States (US) that illegally
invaded Oscar’s country 116 years ago to make Puerto Rico a colony.The United States government has used everything
it could think of to train Puerto Ricans to want to be a colony of the United
States for over a century.Through its
educational system and mass media it has tried to shape the minds of Puerto
Ricans.And when that hasn’t been enough,
it has resorted to state terrorism to repress those who want independence for Puerto
Rico.All nations have an inalienable
right to self-determination and independence according to international law.That is so, because it is a natural thing for
a nation to want to be independent.That’s why most nations are.
So, Oscar is doing what is natural of wanting his nation to
be independent.The US government,
however, is doing the unnatural or radical thing of trying to prevent
Puerto Rico independence.
What the US government is doing is so radical that it is
committing a crime against humanity.The
United Nations declared it so, because colonialism is a threat to world
peace.So by the US government having
Puerto Rico as its colony, it is creating the conditions for people like Oscar to
resort to any means necessary to obtain decolonization.International law also give colonies the
right to use any means necessary to decolonize itself.And that why colonialism is a crime.
This is why, after 33 UN resolutions ignored by the US
government asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and the US
government’s refusal to release Oscar from prison despite tremendous world
pressure to do so, we must continuously protest until it happens!
Should criminals be in charge of correcting the wrong they
Puerto Ricans vote in
elections every 4 years at an 80% level of participation.Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United
States (US) government for the past 116 years.If the US government has the final say in what happens in Puerto Rico,
what is the purpose of these elections?The purpose is to fool the world that Puerto Rico is a democracy.
The United Nations (UN) declared
colonialism a crime against humanity in 1960.The UN has asked the US government 33 times to decolonize Puerto Rico
immediately.The US government has refused.It says that Puerto Rico’s political
relationship with the United States is none of the UN’s business.The US says that it is a domestic affair.
To appear that the US
government wants to decolonize Puerto Rico, it promotes the use of plebiscites
to determine what Puerto Ricans want.Doesn’t
that sounds innocent and democratic?So
what’s the problem?
To begin with, the
international community already rendered its verdict and determined that
colonialism is illegal.So to have a
political status option in a plebiscite that favors maintaining Puerto Rico a
colony of the United States is not permitted.To have a political status option of Puerto Rico becoming a state of the
United States is also not permitted under international law.The problem goes back to the beginning of
this article.In order to have free
elections, the country must be free.So
before these elections and plebiscite could be valid, Puerto Rico would have to
first be an independent nation.
What people must realize is
that Puerto Rico is a colony of the US because the US government wants it that
way.That is why it has used terrorism
to keep it that way.That is why it
refuses to release the Puerto Rican political prisoner of 33 years Oscar López
Rivera.That is also why it is
ridiculous to believe that decolonization is a US internal matter in which the
UN has no jurisdiction over.If we allow
the US government to decolonize Puerto Rico, she will remain a colony of the
United States forever!
José M López Sierra
The Second Oscar – Mandela
March in New York City 2015
We will be having our 2nd
Oscar – Mandela Protest March on Monday, June 22, 2015.We will start marching peacefully at 9 AM from
Hunter College on East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, to East 43rd
Street and Lexington Avenue.We will
then go East (turning left) to end up at the Ralph Bunche Park on First Avenue (across
from the United Nations).
We will be at the park until
5 PM.We will be giving out flyers and
talking to people about who Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera
is. We will also be educating the public
about Puerto Rico’s colonial relationship with the government of the United
Most people don’t know that
every year, usually on the Monday after Fathers’ Day, the United Nations holds
its hearing about the decolonization of Puerto Rico.The petitioners will usually join our protest
after this meeting.
The UN determined in 1960 that
colonialism is a crime against humanity.Since then, the UN has issued 33 resolutions asking for the US
government to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.The US government has ignored these
resolutions.What kind of democracy
The US government tries to
keep these hearings a secret.What we
are trying to do is to get them out of the closet. The UN is in its 3rd
decade trying to make the world colony-free.Please help us!
Most people also don’t know
that the United States government takes out 14 times more money than what it
invests in Puerto Rico.But, that is
what colonies are for!
This savage exploitation
impedes Puerto Rico’s ability to provide opportunities for Puerto Ricans in
Puerto Rico.That is why there are now
more Puerto Ricans living away from Puerto Rico than in their homeland.
Oscar López Rivera has been
incarcerated for 34 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico.Since colonialism is an international crime,
international law gives Oscar the right to use whatever means necessary to decolonize
his homeland.Nelson Mandela was
incarcerated for 27 years for doing the same thing as Oscar.This is why we say, Oscar López Rivera is
our Nelson Mandela!
United Partners for Puerto
Rico Decolonization invites the
public to be part of the tsunami of people that will be necessary to make the
US government comply with the UN resolutions.These annual protests in Puerto Rico and at the UN are absolutely
necessary, because, those who maintain colonies, don’t believe in justice for
José M López Sierra
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