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Lolita Lebron, Puerto Rican freedom fighter dies at 90

Revered by revolutionaries and the common people on all five continents, Lolita Lebron died on Ausust 1 in her beloved Puerto Rico at the age of 90.

Lebron, known as one of the four Puerto Rican nationalists held in U.S. prisons for their armed actions against U.S. government institutions of power, she spent more than a quarter of a century in prison.

She had been charged and convicted on the armed attack inside the U.S. congress, where her, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores Rodriguez and Andres Cordero shot up the congress while it was in session, wounding a number of its participants in Washington, D.C. in 1954.

Their armed action had followed the shooting up of Blair House by Puerto Rican nationalists’ Oscar Collazo and Grisello Torresola (who died in the attack),  where U.S. president Harry S. Truman resided while the White House was being renovated.

Lebron and the other nationalist heroes were finally freed in 1979 when U.S. president James Earl Carter commuted their sentences.

But, it is highly believed that the four nationalist were released on a deal brokered by President Fidel Castro of Cuba, which included trading captured CIA Agents in exchange.

In addition, there was a tremendous international movement that demanded the freedom of the four.

In fact, the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) had mobilized for their release during the 1976 anti-bicentennial demonstration in Philadelphia - where Chairman Omali Yeshitela made an emotional demand for Puerto Rican and African Independence in the pouring rain - in which more than 50,000 people turned out and ordered the freedom for the four and independence for Puerto Rico.

Upon Lebron’s release from prison, she was received by President Castro himself, before going on world tour to speak for Puerto Rico’s independence and against colonialism and imperialism.


Video: Lolita Lebron 1954 Global news reel

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