The Movement to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera

Monday, December 09, 2013

Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist who has been in prison for 32 years for "seditious conspiracy." Juan Gonzalez, co-host for "Democracy Now!" and columnist for The New York Daily News, talks about his case and why activists are pushing for President Obama to pardon Rivera so he can be released by Christmas. Rivera had refused a 1999 pardon from President Clinton.

Juan Gonzalez is one of the local journalists helping establish a memorial scholarship fund at Lehman College for former WNYC reporter Elaine Rivera (unrelated to Oscar Lopez Rivera). Information about how to support those efforts here.


Juan Gonzalez

Comments [13]


Free Oscar Lopez Rivera and get the usa out OF PUERTO RICO. i am not a loyal American YO SOY PUERTORRIQUENO QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan. 26 2014 12:29 PM

Hopefully, the producers for this segment will allow listeners to make their own determination of what this person's convictions were actually about by linking to copies of court documents from the criminal case.

Otherwise, I find myself hostage to merely opposing narrative spins.

Is it true that he refused Presidential Clemency in 1999?

Dec. 09 2013 01:53 PM

jgarbuz from Queens

"It's interesting how most people don't know there was a Puerto Rican terrorist group fighting for PR's independence."

Puerto Rico's Terrorist Group, was never anywhere near as successful
as IRGUN. The leaders were either killed or locked up,
they never became Heads of State.

Dec. 09 2013 12:32 PM
Alana Casanova-Burgess, BLS producer

Hi Kate from Hamilton Heights,
The music we used was "La Perla" by Calle 13 (featuring Ruben Blades):


Dec. 09 2013 11:54 AM
Kate from Hamilton Heights

Could you post the title of the song that you used to end this segment? The one in Spanish that said something like "soy libre como Mandela"? Thanks!

Dec. 09 2013 11:44 AM

Free Oscar Lopez Rivera and Free Jonathan Pollard.

Dec. 09 2013 11:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Almost every independence movement in history has employed some degree of terrorism, but usually for a limited period when all other options had been tried and failed. Certainly the Irish after WWI. The Jews in Palestine after WWII. The Kenyans with the Mau Mau. The PLO up to and unfortunately after the Oslo accords. However, when another option including negotiations are agreed upon then the right to employ violence has to be removed. Puerto Rico has the option of separation if the people vote for it, but even if they did they would still have to negotiate the terms of separation. No doubt the US would demand that Puerto Rico not ally itself with adversaries of the US, for example. So I'm pretty sure that the US which has occupied Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and Guam since 1900 would put in some caveats if it allowed those territories to fully separated. `

Dec. 09 2013 11:41 AM
john from office

What about Willy "no hands" Morales. Is he a hero too??

Vast majority of people from PR are loyal Americans. These people are a fringe element.

Dec. 09 2013 11:33 AM
Jose from Queens

Part of the problem is that "seditious conspiracy" is not a very tangible crime, yet it gets punished very harshly. You could end up in jail for a very long time for just distributing flyers.

I mean, what exactly is the point of sending people to jail for being idealists. By the standard most Tea Partiers and gun nuts should be locked up now.

Dec. 09 2013 11:31 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

Is Mr. Rivera willing to renounce the use of violence now if granted a pardon?

Dec. 09 2013 11:31 AM
john from office

A colony?? Usually a colony gives up more resources then it takes in. Hardly a colony.

Dec. 09 2013 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

It's interesting how most people don't know there was a Puerto Rican terrorist group fighting for PR's independence.

Dec. 09 2013 11:25 AM
oscar from ny

32 years 27 years is too long to be in prison for basically for nothing..the future is always the same and if your a hero for this I guess...

Dec. 09 2013 10:41 AM

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