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USA: Puerto Rican protesters call on Obama to release Oscar Lopez Rivera01:57

USA: Puerto Rican protesters call on Obama to release Oscar Lopez Rivera

United States, Washington, D.C.
October 9, 2016 at 20:51 GMT -00:00 · Published

Hundreds of protesters marched outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, in support of Puerto Rican revolutionary Oscar Lopez Rivera, who is currently detained in a US prison.

Protesters carried effigies of Oscar Lopez and banners denouncing US President Barack Obama, while chanting "Obama, listen to me: we vote Oscar Lopez free." Among the protesters was head of 'Free Oscar Lopez Now' campaign, Ingrid M. Vila Biaggi, who compared Lopez's imprisonment to that of the late-South African leader Nelson Mandela, stating: "At 73 years-old, and after 35 years of prison, Oscar has already spent more time than Nelson Mandela."

Oscar Lopez, a Puerto Rican revolutionary, is beginning his 35th year in a US prison. He was a key figure in the Puerto Rican independence movement of the 1970s, working as a community organiser and campaigner for social equality. Among other charges he was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" in the US in 1981 for his role in the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FARN). He faces 55 years in jail - a term due to expire in 2027, when Lopez Rivera will be 84 years old. FARN sought to turn Puerto Rico into an independent communist state.

Puerto Rico, known officially as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is a territory of the United States and has been since 1898 when Spain ceded the island to the US under the Treaty of Paris following the conclusion of the Spanish-American War.

USA: Puerto Rican protesters call on Obama to release Oscar Lopez Rivera01:57
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Hundreds of protesters marched outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, in support of Puerto Rican revolutionary Oscar Lopez Rivera, who is currently detained in a US prison.

Protesters carried effigies of Oscar Lopez and banners denouncing US President Barack Obama, while chanting "Obama, listen to me: we vote Oscar Lopez free." Among the protesters was head of 'Free Oscar Lopez Now' campaign, Ingrid M. Vila Biaggi, who compared Lopez's imprisonment to that of the late-South African leader Nelson Mandela, stating: "At 73 years-old, and after 35 years of prison, Oscar has already spent more time than Nelson Mandela."

Oscar Lopez, a Puerto Rican revolutionary, is beginning his 35th year in a US prison. He was a key figure in the Puerto Rican independence movement of the 1970s, working as a community organiser and campaigner for social equality. Among other charges he was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" in the US in 1981 for his role in the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FARN). He faces 55 years in jail - a term due to expire in 2027, when Lopez Rivera will be 84 years old. FARN sought to turn Puerto Rico into an independent communist state.

Puerto Rico, known officially as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is a territory of the United States and has been since 1898 when Spain ceded the island to the US under the Treaty of Paris following the conclusion of the Spanish-American War.

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