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Obama Continues to Ignore Pleas to Free Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

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The only way Puerto Rico can recover from its economic and debt crisis, as López Rivera said in his interview with El Nuevo Da, would be to achieve sovereignty and self-determination. This would grant them the ability to prioritize local business and the needs of the population, and free them from being merely a captive market for U.S. products and a source of cheap labor for U.S. corporations.

But any promise that the 2012 referendum, in which a 54% majority rejected the current colonial status, had of achieving this has disappeared. The U.S. Congress, which must approve any change in Puerto Rico's political status, has not given any indication it will even consider doing anything to end the "Commonwealth" colonial status that Puerto Ricans voted against.

On the contrary, Puerto Ricans are being presented with the prospect of a financial control board that is a blatant affront to the idea that people should rule themselves, and a reminder of their powerlessness as colonial subjects.

The fact that Oscar López Rivera still sits unjustly in a prison cell is proof that the voices of Puerto Ricans simply do not matter to first-class American citizens on the mainland who hold power.

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