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After Mounting Pressure From Activists And Politicians, President Obama Finally Granted Clemency To Oscar López Rivera

CREDIT: OUR REVOLUTION / YOUTUBE

It took the efforts of serious political heavyweights and more than 100,000 petition signers, but Oscar López Rivera finally had his 70-year sentence commuted by President Obama. According to the Department of Justice, López Rivera was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” against the U.S. and has remained in prison since August 11, 1981. As UPI reported at that time, López Rivera, who has a Bronze Star for serving in Vietnam, declared himself a political prisoner. Many of the charges levied against López Rivera stemmed from his participation with Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), which fought for Puerto Rico’s independence, according to TeleSur.

Oscar López Rivera’s imprisonment has drawn criticism over the years. Last year, Congressman Luis V. Guttierez (D-IL) took the floor of the House to ask President Obama to pardon López Rivera.

Bernie Sanders also made repeated calls to the president to get the word out about López Rivera. This past May, the Washington Post noted, Rep. Sanders tweeted: “Oscar López Rivera has served 34 years in prison for his commitment to Puerto Rico’s independence. I say to President Obama: let him out.”

López Rivera will be released from prison on May 17.


READ: People Are Pleading Obama To Pardon Oscar Lopez Rivera After 35 Years In Prison

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Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985

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Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985

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Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist and it running for president yet again. The 77-year-old Vermont politician mobilized young voters during the 2016 election yet failed to secure enough votes to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. Now, in 2020, Sanders is hoping to lead the Democratic Party to victory and become the next president of the U.S. Yet, one video continues to resurface when then-Mayor Sanders praised Fidel Castro for his work transforming Cuba.

An old interview with Bernie Sanders praising Communist dictator Fidel Castro is making the rounds again.

Credit: Catholics4Bernie / YouTube

One of the most quoted moments from the video is Bernie’s excitement for Castro.

“I remember being excited when Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” Sanders said in the interview.

Sanders is referencing the revolution led by Castro that would force 1.2 million Cubans to flee their home country for safety and freedom. Many Cubans relied on homemade rafts to float the 90 miles to the Florida coast to seek refuge from the authoritarian regime that stripped Cuban citizens of their basic civil rights.

Sanders leaned into his support for Castro’s revolution later in the interview.

Credit: berniesanders / Instagram

“You may recall back in, what was it, 1961, they invaded Cuba and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world and that all the Cuban people were gonna rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro,” Sanders said in the interview. “They had forgotten that he’d educated their kids, given them healthcare, totally transformed the society… you know, not to say that Fidel Castro or Cuba are perfect. They are certainly not. But, just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people, does not mean to say that the people in their own nations feel the same way. So they expected this tremendous uprising in Cuba, It never came.”

While the uprising Sanders said was anticipated didn’t materialize, what did materialize was a genuine fear among Cuban people about the safety of their families. Millions of people left everything and everyone they knew behind because the unknown of fleeing Cuba held more promise than staying behind. The Cuban government, led by Castro, took all material possessions from the Cuban people and transformed the lives of millions for the worst.

This isn’t the first time Sanders has been made to answer for his comments praising Castro’s revolution.

Credit: berniesanders / Instagram

The controversial interview made an appearance during Sanders’ 2016 campaign when he was running against Hillary Clinton. During one of the debates, Sanders was questioned about the interview.

“It would be wrong not to state in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care,” Sanders said during the debate.

“They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education,” Sanders said. “I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans and it will help the United States.”

Sanders’ comments about Cuba’s government will continue to follow him, especially on social media.

Credit: @ian_mckelvey / Twitter

Socialism has a negative connotations for many Americans who think of Cuba and Venezuela as examples. While those government hide behind the label of Socialism, they are much more Communist. We have seen examples of Democratic Socialism throughout Europe with positive results. However, the label of Democratic Socialist have proved to be difficult obstacles to overcome for both Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

You can watch the full interview below.

The statements by Sanders about the Castro revolution might be steeped in the misconception Cuba has long pushed into the world. It is important to understand that the revolution forced millions of people to leave their homes like we are currently seeing in Central America. Desperate people landed around the world hoping for a better life and the freedom they saw dying in Cuba.

Has Sanders changed his mind about the Castro revolution? Certainly, he will have to answer for this again as he runs for president in 2020.

READ: It’s Been 18 Years And Bernie Sanders Still Hasn’t Explained Why He Favored Dumping Nuclear Waste In A Latino Neighborhood

Cardi B Is Pro-Bernie Sanders But She’s Still Keeping Her Options Open For 2020

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Cardi B Is Pro-Bernie Sanders But She’s Still Keeping Her Options Open For 2020

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Cardi B is getting political again.

Our favorite rapper-slash-pundit talked about her disdain for President Donald Trump and dished on which Democratic presidential contenders have caught her eye so far in a red-carpet interview with Variety on Friday.

Recalling how fiercely the “Please Me” rapper criticized Trump’s government shutdown earlier this year, the publication asked Cardi what she would text or DM the president should she have the opportunity.

“I hate him. I just hate him. I don’t even want to get political, you know what I’m saying,” she said, letting out a major sigh.

But the Bronx hitmaker isn’t against all white male candidates. In fact, two, Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), are among her top choices at the moment.

Cardi, who supported Sanders in the 2016 primaries against Hillary Clinton, said while she still hasn’t made a decision on who she’d be supporting in the next election, she’s going to “always go with Bernie.” The reason: “This is the thing, right? Bernie don’t say things to be cool. Like, there’s pictures of him being an activist from a very, very, very long time [ago].”

But she’s not completely sold on the Vermont senator just yet. Another contender, Ryan, has also piqued the Dominican-Trinidadian star’s interest.

“I was watching the news, and I saw this guy named Tim Ryan. And his speech was very convincing to me,” Cardi said. “He really wants to give the United States free health care, so that’s a big plus. We need health care. So I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Earlier this month, Cardi posted an instastory where she shared her enthusiasm for the Ohio politician’s speech on free healthcare for all, though she stated she still did not trust him.

In response, the representative, a cosponsor on Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-WA) Medicare for All legislation, tweeted to the rapper, saying, “Every American deserves quality health care, period. Hope to earn your trust, @iamcardib.”

If free universal healthcare is on the top of Cardi’s list of issues that she’s taking into account when making the decision of who she’ll be voting for, she has a lot of candidates to sift through.  Most of the Democratic candidates in the crowded 2020 field have endorsed Medicare for All, including Sanders, who was long one of its few proponents.

Good thing for Cardi is she, like all of us, still has time to research more on all of the candidates before making her decision.

Read: Trump Wants To Release Detained Immigrants Into Sanctuary Cities And Democrats Are Demanding Answers On The Controversial Plan

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