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Rep. Gutiérrez: Free Oscar Lopez Rivera Floor Speech


MR. GUTIERREZ: MR. SPEAKER, I WILL NOT BE ON VACATION OR TRAVELING ON JUNKET TO FAR OFF LANDS DURING THE NEXT SIX OR EIGHT WEEKS THAT CONGRESS IS IN RECESS BECAUSE I’M GOING TO BE INVOLVED IN A CAMPAIGN TO FREE OSCAR LOPEZ FROM INCARCERATION. HE IS REGARDED AS THE LAST POLITICAL PRISONER FROM PUERTO RICO THAT IS STILL BEING HELD IN A FEDERAL PENITENTIARY. OSCAR’S A FRIEND AND MENTOR AND AT 73 HE IS NOT BEATEN OR BROKEN OR SAD, AS YOU CAN SEE BY THE SMILE ON HIS FACE. EVEN AFTER SPENDING 35 YEARS IN JAIL, NEARLY HALF OF HIS LIFE, HE IS A HERO TO MANY PEOPLE IN WORK — IN PUERTO RICO. IT WARMS MY HEART THAT PEOPLE FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE UNDERSTAND THE 35 YEARS OSCAR HAS SERVED FOR CRIMES THAT WERE NOT VIOLENT IS TOO LONG TO BE IN JAIL. THAT THERE IS A GROUNDSWELL OF SUPPORT TO TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA THAT AFTER 35 YEARS IT’S TIME TO LET OSCAR COME HOME TO HIS FAMILY, ISLAND, AND COMMUNITY. 35 YEARS IS ENOUGH. AND THIS COMES FROM PEOPLE OF EVERY POLITICAL BACKGROUND, CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS, STATEHOODERS, DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, AND THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN INDEPENDENCE LIKE I DO. EVERY GENERATION FROM THE YOUNGEST HIPPEST KIDS TO OLD PEOPLE LIKE ME, FROM THE RICHEST TO THE POOREST, THE PUERTO RICAN PEOPLE ARE UNITED IF OUR CALL TO FREE OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA. INTERNATIONALLY DISHOM DESMOND TUTU IS WITH US. WITH A LONG LIST OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS. WORLD COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITY LEADERS AND AVERAGE PEOPLE ACROSS EUROPE, WILL THIN AMERICA, AND THE WORLD. HE’S A DECORATED VIETNAM WAR VETERAN, A FATHER, TEACHER, MENTOR, AND FRIEND, YET HE HAS LANGUISHED IN FEDERAL PRISON IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA, FOR 3 1/2 DECADES. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS LESS THAN 200 DAYS LEFT AS PRESIDENT AND THE COURSE OF SUPPORTERS FOR THE FREEDOM OF OSCAR WILL CONTINUE TO CALL ON THE PRESIDENT EVERY DAY TO RAE LEASE OUR BROTHER BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY SO HE CAN LIVE OUT HIS DAYS AND PEACE AND WITH HIS FAMILY. AND COMMUTATION IS THE ONLY OPTION. THE ONLY OPTION. IT WILL BE A MINIMUM OF 10 YEARS BEFORE OSCAR CAN TALK. THAT’S JUST TALK, TO A PAROLE BOARD. IT IS NOW OR NEVER AND PRESIDENT OBAMA HOLDS ALL THE CARDS. WE CANNOT ALLOW OSCAR TO DIE IN JAIL. OBAMA MUST COME MUTE HIS SENTENCE — COMMUTE HIS SENTENCE. A COALITION HAS REFORMED WITH LAWYERS AND UNEOON LEADERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS, COMMUNITY LEADERS, SIT ACCIDENTS FROM EVERY WALK OF LIFE IF PUERTO RICO AND WHEREVER PUERTO RICANS LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES. AND IT COALITION JUST ANNOUNCED A UNITY EVENT, A GATHERING IN LAFAYETTE SQUARE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ON OCTOBER 9, 2016. MR. SPEAKER, WHEN THE CONGRESS LEAVES THIS WEEK FOR SIX WEEKS OR MORE, I’M NOT GOING TO GO ON VACATION, I’M GOING TO GO WORK TO BUILD AWARENESS ABOUT OSCAR LOPEZ AND AWARENESS ABOUT OCTOBER 9 RIGHT HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT LAFAYETTE SQUARE. WE ALL HAVE TO SHOW UP AND SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR OSCAR AND HIS FAMILY. I’LL BE IN LOW RAIN, OHIO, THIS SATURDAY, AND NEW JERSEY LATER THIS MONTH. I’LL BE IN PUERTO RICO, CALIFORNIA, WHEREVER I GO I’LL TELL PEOPLE TO COME TO WASHINGTON TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR OSCAR ON OCTOBER 9, 2016. YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK? ABOUT 3 1/2 HOUR DRIVE TO D.C. OSCAR HAS BEEN IN JAIL FOR 3 1/2 DECADES. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY EXCUSES. OCTOBER 9 IS A SUNDAY. SO IF YOU LIVE ANYWHERE UP AND DOWN THE EASTERN SEABOARD YOU CAN GO TO SUNRISE SERVICE AT YOUR CHURCH AND STILL MAKE IT IN TIME TO SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY WITH OSCAR. YOU LIVE IN CHICAGO, ORLANDO, OK. GOING TO TAKE YOU LONGER. MIGHT EVEN HAVE TO PLAY FOR A HOTEL, AIRPLANE TICKET. BUT WE NEED YOU TO REPRESENT. I ASK EVERYONE WHO IS WATCHING TODAY WHO SEES MY REMARKS ON LINE TO COMMIT YOURSELF TO JOINING ME AND OTHERS IN LAFAYETTE SQUARE ON OCTOBER 9 IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IT’S UP TO US, IT’S UP TO YOU. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS DONE SO MUCH TO ADDRESS INJUSTICE, TO ADDRESS UNFAIR PRISON SENTENCES FOR NONVIOLENT OFFENSES TO ADDRESS THE INHERENT INJUSTICE THAT ALL TOO OFTEN CHARACTERIZES OUR SYSTEM OF JUSTICE. I THANK HIM AND PRAISE HIM FOR THAT. IN THIS CASE WITH THE ELDER STATESMAN OF THE PUERTO RICAN DIASPORA, NONVIOLENT EXEMPLARY INMATE, FOR THIS FATHER AND WAR HERO, FOR OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA, WE RESPECTFULLY SAY,

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