Lopez Rivera was a member of the leftist group FALN that claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings across New York, Chicago and Washington, as well as in Puerto Rico in the 1970s and early '80s.
Lopez Rivera, now 74, is to be released from house arrest in Puerto Rico, where he has been since shortly after President Barack Obama commuted the rest of his 70-year prison term. Supporters also plan to honor him at the June 11 Puerto Rican Day parade down New York's Fifth Avenue with the title Procer de la Libertad - National Freedom Hero. "Don Oscar will spend his twilight years on the island for which he sought independence, and this feels fitting", Miranda said in an email.
For his crimes, Lopez Rivera was sentenced in 1981 to 55 years in prison for "seditious conspiracy" and other felonies, and an additional 15 years in 1988 "for conspiracy to escape; to transport explosives with intent to kill and injure people; and to destroy government buildings and property", according to CNN.
While many Puerto Ricans support Lopez, those seeking independence remain a small group.
Those who have supported him, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Francis and U.S. Sen. But independence has received less than 6 percent of the vote in four previous referendums.
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But for Joseph Connor, who was 9 when his dad, Frank, was killed at the tavern table, the struggle is much more personal.
Former US President Bill Clinton offered Lopez Rivera a pardon in 1999, but the independence activist rejected it in an act of solidarity with other Puerto Rican activists who had not been offered clemency and because he refused to publicly renounce the right of colonised peoples to resist through armed struggle. Then in 2011, the U.S. Parole Commission denied his request for an early release. That request was denied, and Lopez Rivera was eventually sentenced to 55 years in prison - a sentence nearly 20 times longer than those handed down for similar offences.
Lopez held a news conference Wednesday hours after being released from house arrest after decades in custody.
Lopez has said that upon returning to Puerto Rico he wanted to spend time with family and create a think tank to work on issues including climate change, the economy and the island's political status. Sixty-one percent who answered a second question said they favored statehood, but almost 500,000 left that question blank, leading many to question the results.
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