Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican revolutionary fighting to free Puerto Rico from US colonial rule. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the US since 1898. On May 29th of 1981 Oscar was arrested and charged with seditious conspiracy to overthrow the US government. As of today he will have served 31 years in prison. Below is a message sent by Oscar on his 31st anniversary. Below that are ways in which you can find more information on Oscar and the campaign to set him free.
OLR • May 29, 2012
Greetings with Much Respect and Love
i want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Puerto Rican people in PR and in the diaspora for the support you have given me during the past 31 years. i also want to express the same gratitude to the freedom and justice loving people in the u.s. and in different parts of the world for the solidarity they’ve shared with me. The support i’ve received has been a fountain of strength that has helped me face and deal with the difficult challenges i’ve experienced in prison during the past 31 years, and to remain morally and spiritually strong to continue struggling and resisting.
The 31 years seem to have passed fleetingly. Many radical changes have occurred all over the world during this period of time. In Latin America progressive presidents rule in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil and Argentina. In the last two countries the presidents are progressive women. And in Puerto Rico the us navy is no longer present in Vieques. Unfortunately, the most important change Puerto Ricans need has not taken place. Because colonialism seems to be more entrenched now than ever.
It was Jose Marti who said that for a people to be free they needed to be cultured. i believe Puerto Ricans are a cultured people. Yet we still are a colonized people. We are also a morally, mentally, spiritually strong people. But we haven’t been able to make Puerto Rico a free and sovereign nation.
It was Albert Einstein who said that by repeating the same experiment the results were always going to be the same. Doing that is nothing else than an exercise in futility. And Puerto Rican independentists have been repeating the same experiment for decades and obtaining the same results without being able to achieve their goal of an independent and sovereign nation. The celebration of plebiscites has been such an experiment. So why do we continue engaging in Sisyphean tasks? What should we do? Let’s pay heed to Einstein’s wise warning.
My proposal is a simple one. Let’s work on the problems we can resolve with the means and resources we have at our disposal. For example, let’s take one problem related to the health issue we are facing – obesity. To resolve this problem a simple change in lifestyle will do. Eat a healthy diet, exercise and create a support network. We can also start programs of urban gardening. There’s space for such a program in the 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico. And in those spaces we can grow healthy products that can help with a nutritional diet. We can look for alternative sources of energy and of transportation. Let’s start thinking of changes we can make in our lifestyles and we can resolve some of the difficult problems we face. Problems shouldn’t intimidate or scare us. They should produce ideas in our heads and challenge us to find solutions. Finding solutions to problems give us confidence, and help us transcend our colonized mentality. And that transcendence gets us closer to our goal of achieving an independent and sovereign nation and a better and more just world. We are intelligent enough to know what needs to be done. We can change lifestyles in Puerto Rico and in the Puerto Rican diaspora and by doing so we will grow stronger morally, physically, spiritually and mentally. We can make Puerto Rico a free and sovereign nation.
En resistencia y lucha,
WE CAN FREE OSCAR LÓPEZ RIVERA
JOIN THE MOVEMENT TO FREE OSCAR
Alejandro Luis Molina
National Boricua Human Rights Network
2739 W. Division Street
Chicago IL 60622
Follow us on Twitter: olrcat
Comité Pro-Derechos Humanos
ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
Shortlink: – http://wp.me/p1eniL-KK