Havana, November 14, 2017
By Annalie Rueda
Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rican leader and symbol of independence has received the Order of Solidarity at the Jose Marti Memorial in Havana, Cuba. The Order is the highest distinction that the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba awards.
Fernando González Llort, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples – ICAP, who shared the same cell with Oscar for several years of his unjust imprisonment, explained at the ceremony the significance of the honor to such a deserving recipient who emanates simplicity and humility.
“Oscar was arrested on May 29, 1981, charged with seditious conspiracy, crime used against Puerto Rican independence fighters who fought colonialism to criminalize the defense of the right to self-determination of Puerto Rico. We are gathered here to recognize the fortitude, courage and solidarity implicit in the resistance demonstrated during the years that our friend Oscar López Rivera remained in prison. His release is a defeat for the Empire. His dream to visit Cuba has been fulfilled. The order is granted “On a just recognition of his struggle and the attitude maintained during nearly 36 years in prison for the single reason of fighting for the independence of his country”.
The independentista fighter received the Order from the Vice-President of the Council of State and a member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Mercedes López Acea. Also present were José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera, Head of the Department of International Relations of the Central Committee of the CCP, Armando Hart Dávalos, President of the José Martí Cultural Society, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, and friends and guests.
Moved by the showing of affection and the solemnity of the act itself, which began with the placing of a wreath of flowers at the José Martí statue, Lopez Rivera expressed “Appreciation to his companion and friend Fernando, to Gerardo and all imprisoned comrades”.
He went on to give eternal thanks to Fidel and President Raul, and his deepest gratitude to the people of Cuba. “In the years in which I was incarcerated what helped me most was the solidarity of so many human beings who love justice and freedom.”
“Hate and fear are the biggest weapons that the U.S. Government has. I hope that a better and more just world can be achieved and that we can transcend the hate and fear and live on this planet with love. I hope that the example Cuba gives to us continues. We must be faithful to all that represents the best of humanity..Always forward, in resistance and struggle”.
Source: Resumen Latinoamericano
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Check back to this link in the coming days as we will be adding more images of Oscar’s visits to Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.