By Araceli “Babbi” Lugo, Oscar’s niece
On Jan. 4, 2014, we celebrated Oscar’s 71 years with the “Promesa de Reyes” for his excarceration. The same took place at Coliseo Luis Aymat in San Sebastian. The program began at 1:00pm and lasted until 6:00pm. We were accompanied by 300 personas. The program began with an invocation by Oscar’s cousin, Millo Mendez, followed by a third of the rosary sung by friends and family of Barrio Aibonito of San Sebastian where Oscar was born. We continued with the musical contributions of fellow townspeople Gary Aquino and Miriam Perez followed by Tony Mapeye, Benito de Jesus and Chabela Rodriguez.
The Reyes Cantores Isabelinos closed the program which included singing to Oscar honoring his birthday. During the program The Honorable Javier Jimenez, Mayor of San Sebastian, Clarisa Lopez, Oscar’s daughter, Eduardo Villanueva, spokesperson of the Puerto Rican Human Rights Committee and the former political prisoner, Rafael Cancel Miranda.
It was an emotional moment for Oscar who had the opportunity to be delighted by our music and was able to speak to family members and friends whom he had not heard from in years. He was able to call on three occasions without being interrupted. The audience was moved and some members wished out loud that the occasion be repeated next year with Oscar accompanying us.