Puerto Rico's Oscar Lopez Rivera Honors Cuba's Fidel Castro

Mementos, songs and photos were brought out for the occasion to honor the revolutionary life of Cuban hero Fidel Castro.

Fidel Castro's legacy is an example for the world, Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera said Wednesday during a tribute ceremony in Cuba for the Cuban revolutionary leader.

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Mementos, songs and photos were brought out for the occasion. The event, coordinated by the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the Casa del Cultura in Havana.

“I can say this afternoon for me has been a great honor and an experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life, with the desire that other people around the world rise and follow the example of the leader in order to achieve a better world,” Lopez said to the crowd of 140 international guests and media personnel

With the assistance of the Tricontinental Audiovisual Space, Fidel's life became a living mobile of photos.

“The whole world must emulate the example that the commander in chief Fidel Castro Ruz left to us,” Lopez Rivera said.

During his visit to Cuba, the independence activist, who spent nearly four decades in U.S. prison as a political prisoner, also visited the University of Havana to speak with students.

“This country has achieved like no other poor country in the development of human resources and the system of university education has been a pillar,” Lopez Rivera told the students, adding that Cubans enjoy debt-free education.

Lopez described the strength and wealth of opportunity open to Cuban youth, saying he planned to leave the congregation of students more confident in their abilities.

He criticized the host of sanctions targeting the nation by U.S. President Donald Trump and he denounced the travel and economic bans as a means to disempower Cuban people.

RELATED:  Oscar Lopez Rivera Tells Young Cubans They are the ‘Future'

“We Puerto Ricans, those of us who love freedom, those of us who believe in independence, live deeply grateful to the Cuban people, to their government of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, and to all those who have been in solidarity with our struggle,” Lopez Rivera told the students.

“Youth is the future of every people, it is the driving force that has made this society achieve so many accomplishments. When I look at you, I see the best of this society,” he added.

The Puerto Rican activist spent two weeks touring Cuba and will bring his visit to a close after stopping for a short time in Guantanamo Bay.

  • Published in Cuba

Oscar Lopez Rivera Tells Young Cubans They are the ‘Future'

Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Puerto Rican independence fighter freed from prison after 36 years in May, told young Cubans they are the “future of every society” a day after receiving the Order of Solidarity.

Speaking at the University of Havana, Lopez Rivera said: “New generations are the driving force and future of every society.”

He noted that the Cuban Revolution would not have succeeded without “the young people who made it possible from the first moment to advance the country to the point of achieving what no other Latin American nation had.”

During his visit, the freedom fighter received the Commemorative Medal for the 55th Anniversary of the Union of Young Communists from First Secretary Susely Morfa.

Lopez Rivera receives the Order of Solidarity

A day earlier, Lopez Rivera had received the Order of Solidarity from the Cuban State Council at the Jose Marti Memorial in Havana .

Upon his release, he had vowed to travel to Cuba to thank its people for their support during the 36 years he spent in prison, a visit he said has become a dream come true.

His agenda included a tour of Old Havana, as well as a meeting with representatives of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), where he was honored.

On arrival at Jose Marti International Airport on Sunday, the lifelong activist was greeted by Fernando Gonzalez Llort, one of the Cuban 5, with whom he shared a prison cell with for more than four years in the United States.

Gonzalez Llort, now ICAP's president, was one of five Cubans convicted of espionage for monitoring anti-Cuban groups based in Miami to prevent terrorist actions against the Cuban people.

Earlier this month, at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, Russia, Lopez Rivera told the audience it was up to the young to “fight against imperialism.”

In 1976, Lopez Rivera joined Puerto Rico's clandestine fight for independence as a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation. In 1981, he was captured by the FBI and accused of "conspiracy."

Leaders from around the world, as well as human rights organizations, had demanded his release for decades. On Jan. 17, former U.S. President Barack Obama commuted his sentence and he was finally released in May.

Lopez Rivera continues to speak out against the 199-year colonization of Puerto Rico by the United States.

  • Published in Cuba

Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López arrives in Cuba (+Photos)

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 13 (ACN) Happy to visit Cuba for the first time, whose leaders and people he thanked for their support for his release, the Puerto Rican independence leader Oscar López Rivera arrived in Havana this morning.

At the José Martí international airport Oscar Lopez was met by Fernando González Llort, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), with whom the Puerto Rican patriot shared a four-year cell in the Terre Haute prison in Indiana, United States, in the midst of almost 36 years of unjust imprisonment, until being pardoned by former President Barack Obama.

In statements to the press, Lopez Rivera said he intends to enjoy as much time as possible with his brother Cuban people.

When referring to the situation in Puerto Rico, he recalled that it is a country colonized for more than 100 years that today suffers from the effects of hurricane Maria, while facing the lack of interest and support from the US government.

López Rivera will exchange during his visit to Cuba with the Five Cuban Heroes who served sentences in the United States, including Fernando, where in addition to the Order of Solidarity, conferred by the State Council, he will receive samples of affection and admiration of the authorities and the population.

Invited by ICAP, the independence leader will develop an extensive program of activities, which includes meetings with representatives of various sectors in various provinces, and the tribute to Commander in Chief Fidel Castro in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, in Santiago de Cuba.

As part of the support for the case of López Rivera, during the more than three decades of imprisonment, Cuba promoted before the United Nations Decolonization Committee a resolution in which it requested recognition of the right to independence and self-determination of Puerto Rico, and demanded Lopez Rivera´s release and that of other freedom fighters imprisoned in the United States.

The project, supported by Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, was approved as a resolution by said committee in 2012, but the US ignored it.

Now, on a memorable day for relations of brotherhood between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the island receives this Puerto Rican patriot.

Edwin González (I), delegado de la misión puertorriqueña en Cuba, recibe al luchador independentista puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, en el aeropuerto internacional José Martí, en La Habana, el 12 de noviembre de 2017. ACN FOTO/Orlando PERERA/ICAP

Fernando González Llort (D), Héroe de la República de Cuba y presidente del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP), recibe al luchador independentista puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, en el aeropuerto internacional José Martí, en La Habana, el 12 de noviembre de 2017. ACN FOTO/Orlando PERERA/ICAP

Fernando González Llort (D), Héroe de la República de Cuba y presidente del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP), recibe al luchador independentista puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, en el aeropuerto internacional José Martí, en La Habana, el 12 de noviembre de 2017. ACN FOTO/Orlando PERERA/ICAP

El luchador independentista puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera (I), ofrece declaraciones a la prensa, a su llegada al aeropuerto internacional José Martí, en La Habana, el 12 de noviembre de 2017. ACN FOTO/Orlando PERERA/ICAP

 

  • Published in Cuba
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