US President Barack Obama pardoned on Tuesday Puerto Rican independence leader Oscar Lopez Rivera after being unjustly imprisoned for over 30 years. This news multiplied with the speed of modern times.
After hearing the news and expressing a privilege in sharing the same cell for four years with Oscar Lopez Rivera, Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five gave an exclusive interview to ACN.
This is Oscar’s victory, for his resistance, loyalty to his ideas and principles he believes in, said Fernando Gonzalez who is also Vice President of the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) minutes after learning that President Obama had pardoned the independence leader.
He commented that in recent months the international solidarity campaign for his release had intensified and generated expectation just before Obama left the Oval Office.
Fernando added that Obama knew the case of Oscar very well because he had lived in Chicago where Lopez Rivera developed his political life and worked as a social worker.
However, said one of the Cuban Five, that we were all worried that Obama would leave the presidency without signing Rivera’s pardon especially due to the current political reality in the US which would have totally ignored the case.
Before this situation, said Fernando, our response was to double our efforts and continue the struggle.
The Cuban anti-terrorist fighter had concluded a work meeting and was on his way to his office without ever imagining the excitement that would await him: \”he was pardoned and will be released on May 17th, 2017\”, and when he repeats the number “17”, he smiles.
Seconds later he reflects saying that it implies spending some more months in prison, “so he must now take care of himself, something that Oscar knows because he has suffered the impact of those that oppose his liberation in other occasions.
The truth is that this has become a cause by all of the political forces in Puerto Rico, not only for those that are fighting for independence, but referring to solidarity inside and outside the country.
Unity has always been important and even so now, more than ever, he insisted.
Fernando Gonzalez added that the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States will be held at the Dominican Republic and parallel to this event there will be an encounter of social movements and political forces that will reaffirm the principles of peace, unity and brotherhood among our nations.
He added that the struggle for the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera shows the meaning of unity, a force that is more important than ever in Latin America and the Caribbean.
AS the rest of the Cuban people, Fernando has the desire for Oscar to return to his beloved Puerto Rico to enjoy the company of his daughter, granddaughter, friends, comrades in the struggle: \ “I hope we can have him here to give him that embrace that I owe him. It would be an embrace of brothers but with a different flavor, an embrace of freedom\”
Describing that desired moment, the Cuban Hero expressed: \ “When I returned said that it would be very difficult to life such an intense moment in my life, now I say that that hug will be a similar experience lived when I returned to my Homeland\.