And Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera has walked free after serving 36 years in prison—much of the time spent in solitary confinement. In 1981, López Rivera was convicted on federal charges including seditious conspiracy—conspiring to oppose U.S. authority over Puerto Rico. In 1999, President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, but López Rivera refused to accept the deal because it didn’t include two fellow activists, who have since been released. In January, President Obama commuted Oscar López Rivera’s sentence. He spoke yesterday after being freed.
Oscar López Rivera: "I want to thank Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, because they responded to the complaints and demands of our people and commuted the sentences of all our political prisoners."