Oscar López Rivera: The ‘Nelson Mandela’ of the Caribbean?

Go Lean Commentary 

Here’s a not-so-fun fact about the First President of a pluralistic democratic Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela:

He spent 27 years in prison for terrorism.

CU Blog - Oscar Lopez Rivera - Nelson Mandela of the Caribbean - Photo 1Yet, he was hailed a hero upon his release in 1990, and eventually elected as President and a transcendent leader of that country.

Is history about to repeat itself, with Puerto Rican Nationalist Oscar López Rivera?


While the object of animosity – villain – in the Mandela drama was the racist-bigoted government of South Africa, the object of animosity for López Rivera is … the United States of America, albeit a racist-bigoted iteration from the annals of recent history.

Same crime – same disposition? Hardly!

South Africa was never amongst the “Great Powers” of the Earth. (For much of its history – until 1961 – it was a member of the British Dominion and Commonwealth). It is also located at the Southern tip of the African continent – out of sight, out of mind. Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) had righteous indignation and accepted sabotage (a form of terrorism) as a tactic to force change in his country. But … Mandela enjoyed wide international support and concurrence, even from the US … in the end; see his altruism in his motivation here:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realised. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. — Mandela’s Rivonia Trial Speech, 1964[138][139]

Zimbabwe - Photo 4

Mr. López Rivera also had a quest of righteous indignation against his enemy – advocating for Puerto Rican independence[6].

Oscar López Rivera (born 6 January 1943) is a Puerto Rican independence activist[1] who was one of the leaders of the FALN –  Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, a Marxist-Leninist [organization] with a quest to make Puerto Rico an independent communist nation.[9][10][6] Mr. López Rivera was a fugitive since 1976 and indicted in 1977 and 1979; he was arrested on May 29, 1980 and tried by the United States government for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property. López Rivera maintained that according to international law he was an anti-colonial combatant and could not be prosecuted by the United States government. On August 11, 1981, López Rivera was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison. On February 26, 1988 he was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for conspiring to allegedly escape from the Leavenworth federal prison. – Source: Wikipedia.

CU Blog - Oscar Lopez Rivera - Nelson Mandela of the Caribbean - Photo 1b

In truth, López Rivera had the wrong enemy if he wanted international support and concurrence. The US – since World War II – is the Super Power of the day, the #1 Single Market economy and #1 Military establishment. The US President is even considered the Leader of the Free World. But alas, In 2006, the United Nations (UN) called for the release of all convicted for actions related to Puerto Rican independence who had served more than 25 years in US prisons; these ones the UN deemed “political prisoners”.[28]

On August 11, 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton offered clemency to López Rivera and 15 other convicted FALN members, subject to the condition of “renouncing the use or threatened use of violence for any purpose” in writing. … López Rivera rejected the offer because one of its conditions was that he [had to] renounce the use of terrorism.[1][44] On January 17, 2017, President Obama commuted López Rivera’s sentence. His release was scheduled for May 17[77] … one week ago. See VIDEO in the Appendix below.

The movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – tracks and monitors the developments of the US Territory of Puerto Rico – it is a Failed-State. Would Puerto Rico have fared better had López Rivera and his cohorts won their revolution?

Probably not!

Despite all the current failures in societies esteeming capitalism – include the US with its Crony-Capitalism and institutional racism – Communist states around the world have fared even worse. In fact the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 while López Rivera was in prison. Another Caribbean territory that defines itself as a Communist state, Cuba, has a terrible disposition, also a Failed-State that people are desperately fleeing from.

López Rivera is no Nelson Mandela! To some, he is not even a hero; see a story about the related protests and boycotts in the Appendix below.

CU Blog - Oscar Lopez Rivera - Nelson Mandela of the Caribbean - Photo 3

The Go Lean book presents a better plan to finally reform and transform Puerto Rico and the Caribbean; it serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit, that the problems are too big for any one Caribbean member-state alone – Puerto Rico has been trying this whole time and continue to fail … miserably. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Puerto Rico does need a savior, a hero, but López Rivera is not it!

The Go Lean movement calls on Puerto Rico and its neighbors to save itself; this is a call for all 30 Caribbean member-states to convene, collaborate and confederate to provide a better, more effective, technocratic stewardship for the societal engines of the region. Consider this sample of prior blog/commentaries where these points had been elaborated upon:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11812 State of Caribbean Union: Hope and Change
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11647 Righting a Wrong: Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10895 US President Trump’s Vision of the Caribbean: Yawn
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10700 Petition to Lean-in for the ‘Caribbean Union Trade Federation’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10585 Two Pies: Economic Plan for a New Caribbean
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10566 Funding the Caribbean Security Pact
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10043 Integration Plan for Greater Caribbean Prosperity
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9595 Vision and Values for a ‘New’ Caribbean
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7963 ‘Like a Good Neighbor’ – Being there for Puerto Rico
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7151 The Caribbean is Looking for Heroes … ‘to Return’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4551 US Territories – Between a ‘rock and a hard place’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3834 State of the Caribbean Union
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=599 Ailing Puerto Rico open to radical economic fixes

Overall, to Oscar López Rivera, we say (Go Lean book conclusion Page 252):

Thank you for your service, love and commitment to [Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans and] all Caribbean people. We will take it from here.

The movement behind Go Lean book, the planners of a new Caribbean stresses that a ‘change is going to come’, one way or another. We have endured failure for far too long; we have seen what works and what does not. We do not need to buy what López Rivera was selling in the 1970’s. We have looked, listened, learned and lend-a-hand since then. We are now ready to lead this country – Puerto Rico – and this region to a better destination, to being a homeland that is better to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. 


Appendix VIDEO – Oscar Lopez Rivera? Hero Or Villain? – https://youtu.be/eje-sPJkaHQ

Published on May 18, 2017 The freed Puerto Rican nationalist was mostly hailed as a hero as he returned to Chicago’s HumboldtPark. New York’s CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports.


Appendix Title: Yankees among groups to boycott New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade

CU Blog - Oscar Lopez Rivera - Nelson Mandela of the Caribbean - Photo 2The New York Yankees joined the Fire Department of New York City and other high-profile organizations in dropping out of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in response to parade organizers’ plans to honor freed militant Oscar Lopez Rivera.

The Yankees organization didn’t elaborate on its decision, but a spokesperson said in a statement that the team still plans to financially support the parade’s scholarship program:

“The New York Yankees are not participating in this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade. However, for many years, the Yankees have supported a scholarship program that recognizes students selected by the parade organizers. To best protect the interests of those students, and avoid any undue harm to them, the Yankees will continue to provide financial support for the scholarships, and will give to the students directly.”

The June 11 parade, which draws 1 million people each year, also lost key sponsors because of the decision to honor a man considered to be the leader of the ultranationalist Puerto Rican group responsible for more than 100 bombings. Rivera, who was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 1981 after he was found guilty of seditious conspiracy, served 35 years until his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama.

Among the other organizations skipping the parade are the NYPD’s Hispanic Society and Rafael Ramos foundation.

“We understand that others may not be able to be with us,” a statement by the board of directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade said in reference to naming Rivera a national freedom hero. “However, we will continue to represent all voices, with an aim to spark dialogue and find common ground, so that we can help advance our community and build cultural legacy.”
Source: USA Today Daily NewspaperPosted May 23, 2017; retrieved May 24, 2017 from https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/yankees/2017/05/23/yankees-to-boycott-new-york-citys-puerto-rican-parade/102058948/

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