Chicago Cuba Coalition Statement on Oscar Lopez Rivera

May 19, 2017 by

‘Cuba and Puerto Rico are two wings of the same bird’ – Lola Rodríguez de Tió

Warmest Welcome to Oscar from Friends of Cuba!

‘Our strength is our unity’ – central slogan in march of six million Cubans on May Day, 2017

The Chicago Cuba Coalition joins in the joy of all Boriquas and conscious working people in welcoming Oscar Lopez Rivera’s victory tour and organizing efforts after his 37 hard years in the worst of Washington’s prisons, many of them spent in solitary confinement.

Oscar’s indomitable spirit has been an inspiration to us as well as to millions of others around the world. Oscar’s refusal to bend no-matter-what along with the well-organized support from millions around the world made Washington the one to bend its knee. Similar support worldwide forced the U.S. government to free the Cuban Five in 2014.

The connection between Oscar and Cuba is intimate and organic: not only is Oscar a strong supporter of the Cuban Revolution, he spent three years in the same cell with one of the Cuban Five.

Likewise with Puerto Rico and Cuba: both were slave colonies of Spain, both rose up against their colonial masters (and Cubans fought in Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans fought in Cuba), and both had their victories stolen from them by a new master, the United States.

After the Cuban people rose and overthrew both U.S. rule and capitalism in 1959 –

establishing a new society where children, healthcare, and education were the top priorities rather than profit – Washington and its minions slandered Cuba as a dictatorship and held up Puerto Rico as a counter-example of a flourishing, wealthy, and “democratic” place.

But today WE hold up that same comparison: capitalism has imposed a vicious junta on Puerto Rico that is savaging Puerto Ricans’ wages, healthcare, education, and pensions to shovel money to U.S. financial speculators – while Cubans remain safe against austerity’s school and hospitals closings, evictions, draconian tax increases. All schools stay open in Cuba, healthcare remains free, and no-one is homeless or can be evicted.

Meanwhile the tired slander against Cuba –“if it’s so great, why are people leaving”– is swamped by the fact that more Boriquas have fled Puerto Rico and now live in the U.S, than on the island.

The Chicago Cuba Coalition is here as part of an important third force to the unity between Puerto Rico and Cuba:  the powerful presence of the working people of the United States, led by young people, especially Afro-Americans.

Count on us, let’s all stand together with Oscar, Cuba, and the Puerto Rican people – our strength is in our unity. Venceremos!

Chicago Cuba Coalition – 312-952-2618 –

Related Posts


Share This