LGBTQ Pride in Puerto Rico, Latin America

THis video says about itself:

Puerto Rico Rounds Off Gay Pride Month in Latin America

25 June 2017

Latin America has some of the biggest and most radical LGBTI movements in the world. Some countries have progressive equality legislation. But levels of prejudice and violence also remain very high.

Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera will be freed

This video says about itself:

13 January 2017

Oscar Lopez Rivera, renowned Puerto Rican activist, fighting for the island’s independence has been in prison for 35 years. Activists world over are appealing for clemency.

From teleSUR:

Oscar Lopez Rivera to Be Freed After 36 Years in US Prison

17 January 2017

Puerto Rico‘s independence leader and longest held political prisoner in the U.S. from Latin America will be free.

The United States government announced Tuesday the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for 36 years for his struggle to free Puerto Rico from U.S. colonial rule.

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama commuted Lopez’ sentence, which will expire on May 17, according to a list of commutations announced by the White House.

Celebrations started almost immediately, while Clarissa Lopez, daughter of Lopez, will hold a press conference Wednesday at 10 a.m. in reaction to his release at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Lopez was born in Puerto Rico in 1943 and upon returning to Chicago after serving in the Vietnam War, he joined the struggle for Puerto Rican rights and participated in acts of civil disobedience and other actions.

In 1976, he joined the clandestine fight for the independence of Puerto Rico as a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation. In 1981, he was captured by the FBI and accused of “conspiracy” for his militancy in the FALN.

At the time of his capture, he proclaimed himself a prisoner of war, protected in the first protocol of the Geneva Convention of 1949. The protocol protects Lopez from prosecution for having been arrested in a conflict against colonial occupation.

The U.S. did not recognize Lopez‘ demand and sentenced him to 55 years in prison and after an alleged attempt to escape, the sentence was increased to 70 years in prison, 12 of which he spent in solitary confinement.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1999 offered him a pardon, along with 13 FALN members who accepted, but Lopez rejected it because it included completing 10 more years in jail. Leaders from around the world, as well as human rights organizations, have demanded Lopez’ release for many years.

On June 18, 2012, the U.N. Decolonization Committee approved a resolution, promoted by Cuba, which called for the recognition of Puerto Rico’s right to independence and self-determination and urged the release of all pro-independence prisoners in the United States.

So, not only Chelsea Manning will be freed in May, but Oscar Lopez Rivera as well. However:

From Mumia to Peltier, US Political Prisoners Still Locked Up

President Obama commuted the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the military intelligence analyst who made public evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, allowing Manning to go free on May 17, after completing over seven years in prison: here.

Following Chelsea Manning’s commutation, @Alfreddezayas urges pardons for other whistleblowers: here.

Free Puerto Rican Oscar López Rivera

This video says about itself:

5 January 2017

One of Bernie [Sanders]’s promises to the people of Puerto Rico was that, if he were elected president, he would free Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican independence activist and one of the longest-serving political prisoners in the world. The call for his release has united the people of Puerto Rico.

President Obama can still fulfill that promise. In the final weeks of his presidency, we urge you to call the White House at 202-456-1111 each weekday until Oscar López Rivera is free.

From Bernie Sanders‘ organisation Our Revolution in the USA today:

When he visited Puerto Rico last May, Bernie called for the release of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican activist who is serving an unjust sentence.

Oscar was a Puerto Rican nationalist and member of FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) who was strongly against the U.S. colonization of Puerto Rico. Imprisoned for his political opposition 35 years ago, Oscar has become one of the longest serving political prisoners in history. Much of that time has been spent in solitary confinement.

President Obama has the power before he leaves office to grant Oscar clemency, returning him to his family and home in Puerto Rico. Time is quickly running out and if Oscar is not pardoned by Obama, he will unfairly die in prison.

Our Revolution created a video about Oscar’s story, including conversations with his daughter, Clarisa, and elected officials who are joining her in calling for his release.

Watch our video to learn about Oscar’s story and please share it with your friends and family to spread the word about why it is so important that he be granted clemency.

Tomorrow, January 6, is an important day in Puerto Rico. Not only is it the birthday of Oscar López Rivera – when he will turn 74 years old – it is also Three Kings Day, an important holiday for Puerto Ricans.

Three Kings Day is a time to exchange gifts, particularly for children. Let’s give Oscar’s daughter, Clarisa, the gift of having her father back.

Watch and share our video so that we can spread the message far and wide that Oscar López Rivera must be granted clemency.

This is as much a human rights issue as it is a criminal justice issue. Thank you for helping get the word out.

In solidarity,

Erika Andiola
Political Outreach Manager
Our Revolution

New Puerto Rican governor declares fiscal emergency, paves way for massive cuts: here.

‘Obama, free Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera’

This video says about itself:

23 December 2016

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition urging President Obama to grant clemency to Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who has been imprisoned for about 35 years, much of the time in solitary confinement.

In 1981, López Rivera was convicted on federal charges, including seditious conspiracy—conspiring to oppose U.S. authority over Puerto Rico by force. In 1999, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, but López Rivera refused to accept the deal because it did not include two fellow activists, who have since been released. We speak to Oscar’s brother José López Rivera and Melissa Mark-Viverito, speaker of the New York City Council.