President Obama Pardons Oscar Lopez Rivera; Lin-Manuel Miranda & More Celebrate
After spending more than three decades in a Chicago prison, Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera was among the 64 prisoners pardoned by President Obama on Tuesday (Jan. 17).
The Vietnam War veteran, who became the Iongest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico after being sentenced to 70 years in prison for "seditious conspiracy" back in 1981, will be released in May.
Celebs including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Residente, who had been vocal about demanding the release of López Rivera before Obama left office, took to social media to celebrate the news of his release.
The Hamilton creator already extended a special invitation to Don Oscar to his award-winning show in Chicago. "It'll be my pleasure to play Hamilton the night he goes," Miranda tweeted.
"They freed Oscar Lopez Rivera!! United, as brothers, we accomplished this," the "Somos anormales" singer posted.
Liberaron a Oscar López Rivera!!— Residente (@Residente) January 17, 2017
Puerto Rico, nuestra mancha de plátano salió del mismo racimo. Unidos como hermanos lo logramos ----✊️
Ricky Martin tweeted: "Today my little island is the happiest. Thank you President Obama for liberating our Oscar Lopez."
¡Hoy mi islita es la más feliz! Se hace justicia. Gracias @BarackObama por liberar a nuestro Oscar López— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) January 17, 2017
López Rivera was an activist in Chicago fighting against discrimination, exploitation and police brutality in Puerto Rican communities in the late 1960s. After being tied to the nationalist group FALN (The Armed Forces of National Liberation), López Rivera was arrested and charged with conspiracy to "overthrow the U.S."