Pressure keeps building on President Obama to release Oscar López Rivera.
Oscar López Rivera has been in jail for 35 years. To some, the Puerto Rican nationalist is a criminal. To others, he is a political prisoner. He’s been in prison longer than Nelson Mandela, making him one of the longest-held political prisoners in history. Last year, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D – IL) said spoke to the House of Representatives and asked for López Rivera to be set free.
According to Gutierrez, López Rivera was jailed for “espousing the belief that the people of Puerto Rico are capable of, entitled to, and have the unalienable right to self-determination and freedom.” As President Obama’s time in the White House comes to an end, Americans, Puerto Ricans and foreign politicians are ramping up their efforts to convince President Obama to release him.
Bernie Sanders’ organization, Our Revolution, has joined the push to get López Rivera freed from jail and returned to Puerto Rico to be with his family. The latest video that they have released features Calle 13’s Residente, Bernie Sanders, López Rivera’s daughter and the Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico. All the people included in the #FreeOscarLopez video are calling for President Obama to release López Rivera in time for Día De Los Reyes on Jan. 6 as a present to his family and Puerto Rico.
“I dream of my dad holding hands in the streets of San Juan where I live in Puerto Rico, looking into the Caribbean Sea a sea that he hasn’t seen in the past 35 years,” Clarias López Ramos, López Rivera’s daughter, says in the video.
Cruz argues that López Rivera has been imprisoned for too long and called the punishment un-American. According to Cruz, López Rivera is guilty of one thing: wanting to bring freedom to the country of Puerto Rico.