Chicago supporters to honor freed Puerto Rico nationalist


The group claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at government buildings, department stores, banks and restaurants in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Puerto Rico during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Lopez Rivera was placed under house arrest after former US President Barack Obama commuted his sentence before leaving office in January.

"I've had long hours in the middle of the night trying to figure out what I am missing, why he has all this support", Diane Berger Ettenson said of Lopez Rivera.

Rivera, who was convicted on a slew of charges including seditious conspiracy, is slated to be honored next month in the Big Apple's massive Puerto Rican Day parade on June 11.

"Hamilton" star Lin-Manuel Miranda, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and others applauded Rivera's release and the man's commitment to Puerto Rican independence while those who suffered from the actions of FALN express bafflement and outrage.

Jose runs down a litany of education reforms and programs in which Lopez Rivera was instrumental-Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services (LARES), the Latin American and Latino Studies Program and the Latino Cultural Center (the first of its kind in Illinois) at the University of IL in Chicago.

Parade organizers said in a statement, "Oscar's involvement does not endorse the story that led to his arrest or any form of violence".

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NEW YORK (AP) - A Puerto Rican nationalist is set to be freed after decades behind bars for his role in a violent struggle for independence from the U.S. He was never tied to specific bombings, which caused few injuries.

"This is not about people fighting for independence". Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist who was the last of his group serving time for his role in a violent struggle for independence for the USA territory, will be released from prison on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, to the cheers of his supporters and the dismay of the victims of violence.

In 1999, then-President Bill Clinton offered to commute the sentences of Lopez Rivera and several FALN comrades; Lopez Rivera rejected the offer, however, because two group members were not included.

Those who have supported him, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Francis and U.S. Sen. "We have evolved, the conditions in Puerto Rico have changed", he said.

Puerto Rico has been under USA jurisdiction since 1898, and its people have been US citizens since 1917.

Lopez Rivera was born in Puerto Rico in 1943 but later moved to Chicago as a child. The option garnered less than six per cent of the vote in four referendums that Puerto Rico has held on its political status. "I think that he paid a high price. And that it is important for this son to be returned", she said.

"They called my father and the people they murdered at Fraunces 'reactionary corporate executives, '" said Connor. "My kids never met my dad, but they certainly had to deal with this".