Monday, May 20, 2024

Lolita Lebrón


Caption and poster credits: Fireworks.
Additional documentation thanks to Freedom Archives

On March 1, 1954, Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores and Andres Figueroa Cordero carried out an armed attack the US House of Representatives to protest Puerto Rico’s new designation as a U.S. commonwealth and calling for independence for Puerto Rico and for an end to US colonialism. Five congressmen were wounded. The Four Nationalists received lengthy prison sentences of 50 to 75 years. In 1979 after an international campaign, Jimmy Carter issued commutations to the group. After their release they returned to Puerto Rico, where people received them as heroes. Lolita immediately began a lecture tour of Puerto Rican communities in the U.S. to advocate for independence and support the recently imprisoned 11 Puerto Rican Prisoners of War. Lolta was a life long fighter for independence including protesting the US Navy bombing exercises on the island of Vieques. 1977 Pablo Marcano and Nydia Cuevas Rivera, took as hostage, the Consul General of the Chilean Consulate in Puerto Rico. They demanded the release of the Puerto Rican Nationalist prisoners as well as the ceasing of July 4th celebrations on the island. When the Nationalists were released in 1979, they campaigned for the release of these two independentistas

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