Por Néstor Rosa-Marbrell
San Juan, Nov 12 (Prensa Latina) When Puerto Rican fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera arrives in Cuba today for the first time, the first thing he will do is to express his gratitude to the Cuban people for their support for his release campaign.
‘I’ve never been to Cuba, I would have liked to have met and talked with Fidel,’ he said about the historic Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, whose political genius he admires, in an interview with Prensa Latina in San Juan.
Lopez Rivera, who spent almost 36 years in prison in the United States for his struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, stated that ‘Fidel was a man of a vision contrary to those who only seek money for them, something that responded to his immensity’, just like when he warned Latin American countries not to pay their public debt because that would impoverish their people more.
‘The first thing I want to do is to express my gratitude to the Cuban people because they supported the campaign in favor of my release and also because they have been supportive of our struggle and that of all Latin American countries; they have always been there supporting us,’ he said.
In addition, the independence fighter, who completed his sentence on May 17 after it was communted by President Barack Obama in mid-January, expects to meet with the Cuban Five, who were held in U.S. prisons, including Fernando González Llort, with whom he shared a cell for four years in the Terre Haute prison in Indiana.
‘I hope at least to be with The Five and with people who I have been previously and to greet them; to listen to what is happening in the government and with youths,’ he said, adding that he recently had a good experience with young Cubans during their visits to Nicaragua and Sochi, in Russia.
Invited by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), which is currently headed by González Llort, the Puerto Rican fighter, born in the mountainous town of San Sebastián, wants to have plenty of time to visit as many places as possible, including urban orchards.