Sunday, November 25, 2012

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign: Recent Statements from Oscar Lopez and Norberto Gonzalez

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
www.ProLibertadWeb.com
ProLibertad@hotmail.com
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The American Studies Association, a progressive educational organization,  met last weekend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Panels included the participation of former Puerto Rican political prisoners Rafael Cancel Miranda, Elizam Escobar, Lucy Rodriguez, and Luis Rosa. Following is a statement written to the conference by Oscar Lopez Rivera:

For the American Studies Association conference

October 29, 2012
 
The U.S. government categorically denies it has political prisoners in its gulags. It does it primarily to cover up the nefarious, barbaric and even criminal acts and practices it carries out against us and other regular prisoners, and to do it with impunity. It uses the denial as its license to violate our most basic human rights by subjecting us to isolation and sensory deprivation regimens that are nothing less than cruel and unusual punishment. It uses it to hoodwink its own citizens to believe that it doesn't criminalize dissenters or opponents of its wars and other imperialistic practices. It does it to perpetuate the lie that it's the ultimate defender of freedom, justice, democracy and human rights in the world. And it uses it at times to further criminalize the political prisoners and/or our families and to disconnect us from our families, communities, supporters and the just and noble causes we served and try to continue serving.
 
During the many years I've been in the gulags, I've met and shared ideas, time and space with different political prisoners who struggle for just and noble causes like the one I've chosen to serve. Some were with me at USP Leavenworth, where we were labeled "notorious and incorrigible criminals" and targeted by the FBI, jailers and informants/provocateurs in their attempts to criminalize us further. In my case the same evil forces even used my medical condition as fodder for the escape conspiracy plot they hatched that added fifteen more years to my sentence.
 
There were political prisoners with me at USP Marion, where we were subjected to isolation and sensory deprivation regimens, and labeled "predators, the worst of the worst," and even "animals" by Dr. Urban, the head of the psychology department of USP Marion. Amnesty International went as far as defining the barbaric conditions in that gulag as a "legal crime." Sensory deprivation and isolation regimens cause a plethora of mental illness/problems, including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) — the same mental disorder war veterans suffer.
 
And there were political prisoners with me in the gulag known as ADX Florence. There some of us were subjected to a sleep deprivation regimen that was pure and simple torture. I experienced it for 58 days and my sleeping patterns were so badly damaged that I still have serious problems sleeping. In these two gulags political prisoners were also the targets of constant harassment such as cell searches, confiscation of reading and art materials and placement in hot cells where there was contraband in order to issue us infractions, send us to the hole, and force us to start the "step-down" program all over again.
 
Since I have been in the gulags all of my communication has been intercepted and monitored, including my legal mail. My family has been persecuted and criminalized. Three days after I was sentenced my brother José was fired from his job at Northeastern Illinois University, and before that sent to prison for 11 months for refusing to testify before a grand jury. My mother, at age 70, was made my co-conspirator. Anyone who knew my mother knows she would rather have died than to engage in any criminal activity. The FBI has even tried to destroy good community programs that at one point and time I was associated with. The last 14 years I have spent in this gulag, Terre Haute. And the harassment has not stopped. Several times my art materials have been confiscated or lost, art work destroyed, family visits stopped, and I still have to report to the jailers every two hours. In those 14 years, in spite of all the provocations and harassment, the jailers haven't been able to accuse me of committing any infractions. But that doesn't stop them from doing what they've been doing to me for the past 31 years. And I'm fairly certain the other political prisoners continue experiencing the same treatment and conditions.
 
It could be argued that government's denial of our existence has worked. But our wills and spirits are strong enough to continue resisting and struggling.
 
En resistencia y lucha [in resistance and struggle],
Oscar López Rivera


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Declaración  ante  la sentencia de Norberto González Claudio

En el día de hoy  se cumplió el acuerdo político  escrito en el que el gobierno de Estados Unidos reconoce  que la participación  como dirigente que tuviera Norberto González  Claudio en  la expropiación  a la Wells Fargo,  que realizara   la organización   puertorriqueña Los Macheteros en el año 1983, fue para promover la Independencia de PR y  no fue  para beneficio personal.

Norberto González Claudio  ha sido   defensor de los derechos civiles,  humanos y  por la justicia social  de los puertorriqueños desde su adolescencia.  Ha sido incansable defensor de los derechos de los estudiantes y los  trabajadores puertorriqueños  y del mundo en general. Ha luchado contra el sistema colonial que tenemos en Puerto Rico   y por su  independencia de Estados Unidos, la nación que lo coloniza.   Hoy a sus 67 años ha sido sentenciado a encarcelamiento y probatoria posterior a este  por esta nación  que  luchó y tuvo sus luchadores por la independencia como  él.  

Desde el 10 de mayo de 2011, cuando fue arrestado por el FBI en  Puerto Rico y transportado a los Estados Unidos, ha estado  prisionero en Rhode Island sin derecho a fianza. En esta prisión privada  Donald Wyatt (  DWWDF ) lo mantienen en solitaria con un mínimo de horas para ejercitarse y comunicarse con sus familiares.  Para el mes de enero de 2012  le diagnosticaron cáncer de piel  y no fué hasta mayo que le  sometieron a cirugía para remoción de la lesión cancerosa. Nunca tuvo una visita de seguimiento posterior a la cirugía y, al día de hoy, su condición de cáncer no ha sido reevaluada por un médico, por lo que se desconoce su condición en este momento.

Norberto está  feliz  de poder impulsar la libertad de su patria,  de luchar  contra la explotación del hombre por el hombre y por la unidad patriótica. Para él esa es su misión en esta vida.  Es  defensor del pueblo puertorriqueño y de todos los pueblos y naciones oprimidas. Por eso acepta su sentencia con una sonrisa.

Agradecemos   a todas las  personas que desean apoyar a Norberto en su decisión de aceptar encarcelamiento y probatoria  por defender a su nación del colonialismo estadounidense, del  derecho de los puertorriqueños a su libertad y su soberanía. Entendemos que cada persona individual o en asociación con otros escoge su mejor forma de dar su apoyo y solidaridad   y nosotros así  lo aceptamos.  Reconocemos a la Coordinadora de Solidaridad con la Diaspora Boricua (COSODIBO ) que hoy nos acompaña aquí en Hartford; a las organizaciones Pro Libertad, Freedom Campaign, The Ricanstruction Action Party, El Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño-Nueva York, El Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores-NYC, IFCO/Pastors for Peace,  y La Fundacion Andres Figueroa Cordero, también a el Partido Workers World-Mundo Obrero


que están ofreciendo  su apoyo desde Nueva York,   y en PR  a el Comité de Apoyo a Avelino y Norberto González Claudio (CAANGC),  el Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño (PIP),  Comité de Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico (CDH), la Coordinadora Caribeña y Latinoamericana de Puerto Rico (CCLPR), el 
Ejército Popular Boricua-Macheteros, el Partido Nacionalista de Puerto Rico Movimiento Libertador (PN-ML),  el  Movimiento Independentista  Nacional Hostosiano (MINH),  el Frente Socialista (FS), el  Movimiento al Socialismo (MÁS), el Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores-Macheteros, el Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Puertorriqueños-Macheteros,  La Nueva Escuela,  el Partido Comunista (PC) entre otras  organizaciones que han dicho presente para acompañar a Norberto en el día de hoy .   Norberto, su familia y yo le damos nuestra más expresivas gracias por  todo este apoyo.


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