Pressure keeps building on President Obama to release Oscar López Rivera.
Oscar López Rivera has been in jail for 35 years. To some, the Puerto Rican nationalist is a criminal. To others, he is a political prisoner. He’s been in prison longer than Nelson Mandela, making him one of the longest-held political prisoners in history. Last year, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D – IL) said spoke to the House of Representatives and asked for López Rivera to be set free.
According to Gutierrez, López Rivera was jailed for “espousing the belief that the people of Puerto Rico are capable of, entitled to, and have the unalienable right to self-determination and freedom.” As President Obama’s time in the White House comes to an end, Americans, Puerto Ricans and foreign politicians are ramping up their efforts to convince President Obama to release him.
Bernie Sanders’ organization, Our Revolution, has joined the push to get López Rivera freed from jail and returned to Puerto Rico to be with his family. The latest video that they have released features Calle 13’s Residente, Bernie Sanders, López Rivera’s daughter and the Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico. All the people included in the #FreeOscarLopez video are calling for President Obama to release López Rivera in time for Día De Los Reyes on Jan. 6 as a present to his family and Puerto Rico.
“I dream of my dad holding hands in the streets of San Juan where I live in Puerto Rico, looking into the Caribbean Sea a sea that he hasn’t seen in the past 35 years,” Clarias López Ramos, López Rivera’s daughter, says in the video.
Cruz argues that López Rivera has been imprisoned for too long and called the punishment un-American. According to Cruz, López Rivera is guilty of one thing: wanting to bring freedom to the country of Puerto Rico.
Sure, when most people think of Cardi B, they think of a fierce female MC with deep roots in the Bronx who has multiple No.1 singles. But her die-hard fans know that she’s just as passionate about politics as she is about spitting bars.
Cardi B has been vocal about her passion for politics for as long as she’s been in the spotlight, but she’s especially made her voice heard in the most recent election. Whether its interviewing candidates or live-commenting on presidential debates, our girl is fully committed to practicing her civic duties.
Take a look at our round-up of all the times that Cardi B was politically active in this most recent election cycle!
Before the primary election really started to heat up in 2019, Cardi B was just a “regular shmegular” celebrity endorsing Democratic candidates for president.
That didn’t sit well with conservative commentator Tomi Lahren who took to Twitter to try and diss her.
Cardi hit back at Tomi Lahren with this legendary comment:
Suddenly being “dog walked” was a term that both CNN and Fox were having to describe to their middle-aged viewers. And the latest election cycle officially began!
Before the election was Biden versus Trump, it was all the democrats versus…all the democrats. In 2019, Cardi B endorsed “Daddy Bernie” for the democratic candidate.
She then interviewed Bernie Sanders in collaboration with his campaign:
Flash forward to 2020 and Cardi was making headlines for an innocent tweet she wrote that she was considering getting into politics.
Naturally, her fans were already printing “Cardi B for President” shirts.
Next, our two favorite Latinas from the Bronx–Cardi B and AOC–both bonded on social media over their shared love of WAP (women as president).
Let’s hope these two do more collabing soon.
Cardi B and Joe Biden had a Zoom interview where they discussed issues that were important to her and her fan base.
During the interview, her and Biden covered everything from Medicare for all, for free college education for all, to ending policy brutality and systemic racism.
And when conservatives tried to come at Cardi B for being “an illiterate rapper” who has no business interviewing Joe Biden, she shut them down:
“It’s not a secret I use my platform to encourage people to vote,” Cardi responded in a now-deleted Instagram video. “I have millions of followers. I pay millions in taxes. I have the Number One song in this country…Just like I can make millions of people pop their p—y, I can make millions of people go vote.”
And of course, Cardi B has been giving blow-by-blow commentary for every excruciating second of both the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.
As one of Cardi’s Instagram commenters so astutely put it: “Cardi B for the next debate moderator!”. Here, here!
Since Joe Biden clinched the Democratic presidential nomination in April, his team has been hard at work brokering a sort of truce with rival candidate Bernie Sanders, along with his dedicated supporters.
This outreach became ever more apparent at last week’s Democratic National Convention, as Sanders and his closest allies, as well as many of their one-time rivals, say the party is united behind Joe Biden in the face of a common enemy: Donald Trump.
In a live-streamed speech, Bernie said: “As long as I am here, I will work with progressives, with moderates, and, yes, with conservatives to preserve this nation from a threat that so many of our heroes fought and died to defeat.” He added: “This election is the most important in the modern history of this country. We need Joe Biden as our next president.”
The Biden team has worked hard to forge this bridge between Biden and Sanders supporters, and although Biden has also excluded a number of cherished progressive policies from his party’s platform, the relationship remains intact.
Biden and Sanders supporters want voters to know one important thing: it’s OK to change your mind.
Now, as many Sanders supporters and delegates to the convention come to support Biden, the two sides want to show voters that it’s OK to change your mind and to support the nominee – even if he wasn’t your first (or second or third…) choice.
We sat down with two young Latino delegates who proudly nominated their chosen candidate for President of the United States at this convention. They may not have cast their vote for the same candidate but they both agree that our community needs a voice at the table and that all of us will benefit from actual leadership in the White House.
They started out supporting different candidates but these two delegates agree on the importance of this election.
Meet Anthony Santiago and Zenaida Huerta – two young Latino delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Although they cast their vote for different candidates, they both share similar motivations for making sure their voice (and the voice of their community) was heard.
Anthony is a 19-year-old delegate from Kissimmee, Florida and, having been a Biden supporter from the very beginning, proudly cast his vote for Joe Biden.
Zenaida, from California, is a 21-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter and it wasn’t her first time attending the convention as a delegate – she also cast her vote for Sanders at the 2016 convention at just 17-years-old.
When asked about the importance of voting and getting involved in politics, they both pointed out how consequential this election is. Anthony said, “The single most important thing that any of us can do this year is vote. When we are united, our voice can make a huge, positive difference in our nation. There has never been a more important election in our lifetimes than the 2020 presidential election.”
Zenaida urges our community, especially young Latinos to “realize your power. We are in this fight for the long haul—not just until our friends stop posting about it. When we stay in this fight, we see change.”
Anthony came to the convention as a long term Biden supporter.
Anthony told Mitú that he came to appreciate and admire Joe Biden during the presidency of Barack Obama. He would watch the news with his mom every morning while getting ready for school and he felt that Barack Obama was a leader he could look up to.
He added that during the Democratic primary, he was “watching every debate and taking the time to look into each candidate and Joe Biden’s plan for healthcare was what I gravitated to most.”
Anthony also points out that for him, his support of Biden isn’t just about policy. According to Anthony, ”Biden’s personal story also really stood out to me. It’s filled with hardship and resonates with many Americans. Joe Biden knows what it feels like to feel true loss, and he knows how to push forward. After making it through all of these challenges, Joe Biden is now running for president and will win if we all do our part and vote for him.”
As a longtime Sanders supporter, it was important for Zenaida to cast that vote for his nomination.
To Zenaida, her support for Sanders is simple: “I support Bernie Sanders because I believe that working families deserve lives filled with dignity,” she told Mitú.
Among all demographics, Latinos in California suffer from the highest rates of poverty and Zenaida believes that Sanders’ policies will help uplift the most vulnerable among us. She says, “My grandparents and parents sacrificed so much for me to have a better life—yet, a better life is now out of reach for young Latinos. I support Bernie because he makes a better life within reach, not just for myself, but for my community.”
When asked about the importance of casting her vote for Sanders at the convention, Zenaida told Mitú, “Being part of the convention for the second time means that the progressive movement has been realized. Young people, particularly young Latinos, whose majority stood behind Bernie, were with him in 2016; they are with him in 2020; and they will continue to be an unmoved force in our party hereafter.”
Zenaida and her family have roots in the farm worker community and she sees Sanders as a true ally.
Zenaida remembers as a little girl attending labor marches and rallies with her father, who was a campaign manager for AFL-CIO in Los Angeles. She was moved by the thousands of people, standing together, united to make a difference.
But labor and community organizing runs deep in her family. Her grandfather, Juan Huerta, worked alongside Cesar Chavez as a United Farmworkers organizer. When asked about why he worked so hard for so little in return, Huerta told Zenaida, “It was a lot of work, but it was right.” These words guide Zenaida in her activism today. She told Mitú, “I am involved not just because I am one voice, but because I am one of many. I am following in my grandfather and father’s footsteps because I am continuing their struggle.“
Biden’s support in getting the Affordable Care Act (aka. ObamaCare) passed helped Anthony’s family in untold ways.
Like so many other Americans, healthcare is one of the most important issues our community faces. So many are unable to afford important medications or medical procedures, while others are simply too afraid to visit the doctor for fear of deportation. Therefore, it’s no surprise that healthcare is consistently rated among the most important issues to Latinos.
Anthony’s family has benefited from the ACA, which was signed under the Obama presidency with Joe Biden’s support. Anthony points out just how important this was to his family.
He says, “Joe Biden’s plan for healthcare was what I gravitated to most. My abuela was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer a few years ago, and thanks to the ACA she has been able to get affordable treatment and is doing very well today.”
Anthony and Zenaida are not alone: major parts of the progressive wing are coming together to support Biden’s campaign.
A progressive group that opposed Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries is rolling out a new campaign to urge progressive voters in battleground states to back the presumptive presidential nominee in November.
RootsAction.org, a group run by supporters of Bernie Sanders, launched its #VoteTrumpOut campaign Wednesday and said while it hopes to help push the former Vice President over the edge against President Trump, it will work to hold him accountable should he win the White House.
“Donald Trump is waging a war on truth, on decency, on our planet, and on working people. For the sake of everything we care about, we have to get him out of the White House in 2020,” the group said on its website. “As progressives and leftists, we are not going to minimize our disagreements with Joe Biden. But we’re also clear-eyed about where things stand: supporting the Democratic nominee in swing states is the only means we have to defeat Trump.”