Oscar Lopez Rivera: Imprisoned for Supporting Puerto Rican Independence - by Stephen Lendman
After the 1898 Spanish-American War, the US took over the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, assorted other territories, and Puerto Rico. On September 29, its Governor-General, Manuel Macias y Casado (a Spanish general), ceded control to Washington, its current status today as a colony.
In 1966, then University of Puerto Rico economics associate, Dr. Antonio J. Gonzales said:
"The Puerto Rican Independence Party bases its struggle in favor of the independence of Puerto Rico on the conviction that we continue to be a (US) colony, thus being denied (our) right to freedom and sovereignty."
After taking over in 1898, America "never granted Puerto Ricans the total control of their lives and destiny. Sovereign powers have never been transferred to us in order to be able to decide in all those areas that affect the collective life of our nation."
For over 112 years, America's had total control, Puerto Ricans virtually none, forced to "accept the dispositions of laws imposed" by a colonial power. In its relationship with America, Puerto Rico is called "Estado Libre Asociado" (Free Associated State or Commonwealth). Under international law, it's a colony, seeking independence. Therein lies the roots of its struggle, Oscar Lopez Rivera imprisoned for supporting it.
A collective 1981 statement by Puerto Rican Independentistas, convicted of "seditious conspiracy," said the following:
"Our position remains clear: Puerto Rico is a nation intervened, militarily conquered and colonized by the United States....We are prisoners of war captured by the enemy. Our actions have always been and continue to be in the nature of fighting a war of independence, a war of national liberation....The US interventionist government has absolutely no right, no say so whatsoever in regards to Puerto Rico, ourselves, or any Puerto Rican prisoner of war. The US interventionist government has only one choice....and that is to GET OUT! It is our right to regain and secure our national sovereignty. Nothing will stand in the way of achieving our goal."