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Campaign to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera Builds Towards Oct 9 Event in DC


MR. GUTIERREZ: MR. SPEAKER, THIS PAST WEEKEND I VISITED POOR CITIES IN FOUR STATES, NEW YORK CITY, NEWARK FOR ACTIVITIES, PARADES AND DISCUSSIONES THAT WERE VERY SUCCESSFUL. THIS WEEK I WILL BE BACK IN CHICAGO WITH MY FELLOW PUERTO RICANS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM AT THE PUERTO RICAN ARTS AND MUSEUM AND TO RECOGNIZE THE CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF ANTONIO MARTO AND MANUEL WHO MAKE US ALL SO PROUD. BUT I AM NOT TRAVELING FOR OUR PRESIDENT OR POLITICAL CANDIDATE. RATHER, A CAMPAIGN FOR THE CURRENT PRESIDENT TO TAKE ACTION BEFORE HE LEAVES OFFICE IN JANUARY TO FREE OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, THE LAST PUERTO RICAN PRISONER WHO HAS BEEN HELD FOR 35 YEARS. NO ONE DISPUTES THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS THE POWER TO GRANT PARDONS, COMMUTE SENSES AND GRANT KLEMANSY. IT’S THE POWER THE PRESIDENT — CLEMENCY. IT’S THE POWER THE PRESIDENT HAS. PUERTO RICANS AND ALLIES ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE ASKING THE PRESIDENT TO GRANT CLEMENCY TO OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA. HE WAS NOT COMMITTED OF A VIOLENT CRIME, RATHER A CONSPIRACY,ESS POUSING THE BELIEF THAT THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO HAVE THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND FREEDOM. THIS MAN, OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, WHO IS NOW IN HIS 70’S AND SPENT HALF OF HIS LIFE IN PRISON, IS NO THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES OR PUERTO RICO. HE HARBORS NO NEFARIOUS PLOT TO HARM ANYONE. HE’S SIMPLY A MAN WHO WAS SENTENCED FOR A CRIME HE WAS NOT CONVICTED AND NOW PUERTO RICO WANTS THEIR ELDER STATESMAN TO LIVE OUT HIS DAYS IN PUERTO RICO. AND THERE IS NO MORE THAT UNITE THEM. IT’S TO RELEASE OSCAR LOPEZ. PEOPLE WILL JOIN IN LAFAYETTE PARK IN WASHINGTON, D.C. TO MAKE OUR COMMITMENT KNOWN. I KNOW FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE THAT ALL TOO OFTEN PUERTO RICANS ARE DIVIDED FROM EACH OTHER ALONG SO MANY LINES OF POLITICS, CLASS AND GEOGRAPHY. BUT IN THIS CASE, IN THIS CAUSE IN THE UNITED CALL, PUERTO RICANS ARE UNITED AS NEVER BEFORE. THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE OF THE ISLAND’S LEGISLATURE AND THE CANDIDATES, ALL THE CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AND MAJOR OFFICE, CURRENT AND PAST ELECTED OFFICIALS, CITY COUNCIL AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS FROM SAN JUAN TO THE SMALLEST VILLAGES, ACROSS PARTY LINES, ACROSS LINES THAT OFTEN SEPARATE STATE ADVOCATES AND COMMONWEALTH ADVOCATES, PRACTICALLY EVERY DENOMINATION, PARISH AND CHURCH, ALMOST THE ENTIRE FAITH COMMUNITY ON THE ISLAND HAS CALLED FOR OSCAR’S RELIEF. BUT IT’S NOT JUST A PUERTO RICAN THING, MR. SPEAKER. IT’S A MOVEMENT THAT’S SPARKED FOLLOWERS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES AS WELL. THE AFL-CIO ASKED ME, SCIU, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA AND OTHER ALLIES IN AMERICA ARE STANDING UP FOR JUSTICE AND STANDING UP FOR THE RELEASE OF OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA. THE HISPANIC NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF ALL STRIPES ARE ON BOARD. THE CITY COUNCIL OF NEW YORK CITY AND MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, PAST RESOLUTION AND MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUES IN THE HISPANIC CAUCUS HAVE JOINED US IN THE CALL FOR OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA TO BE RELEASED AND I THANK THE MEMBERS OF THE HISPANIC CAUCUS. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA’S CASE AND THE CALL FOR HIM TO BE RELEASED HAVE RECEIVED NATIONAL ATTENTION AND VALIDATION. NOBEL LAUREATES, ACTIVISTS THE WORLD OVER KNOW IT’S TIME TO LET OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA IN TIME IN PEACE TO HIS ISLAND. THE ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS IN CAPE TOWN, A TRUE CHAMPION OF JUSTICE ACROSS THE GLOBE, EXPRESSED HIS UNWAVERING SUPPORT FOR THE RELEASE OF THIS PRISONER. MR. SPEAKER, BASED ON THE MERITS OF THIS CASE, THE OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT AND THE MORAL OBLIGATION AND POWER THAT’S BEEN PLACED IN HIS HANDS, I JOIN FREEDOM FIGHTERS, JUSTICE LOVERS, PUERTO RICANS, WORKING PEOPLE AND INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE GLOBE IN ASKING PRESIDENT OBAMA TO USE HIS PEN TO FREE OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA. PLEASE JOIN US IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ON OCTOBER 9, IN LAFAYE

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