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  • Cuban Fernando González (left) and the Puerto Rican Oscar López became friends over the four years they shared a cell during Lopez

    Cuban Fernando González (left) and the Puerto Rican Oscar López became friends over the four years they shared a cell during Lopez's 36 year sentence as US political prisoners. | Photo: ACN

“It has been happier, more intense and much more rewarding than I expected,” Lopez said of his extended Cuban tour.

Puerto Rico's hero Oscar Lopez Rivera brings his Cuban trip to a close with a final visit with President Raul Castro on Saturday.

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The politicians reminisced over Fidel Castro's successes as a leader of the Cuban Revolution, local media report. Lopez reasserted Puerto Rico's sentiments of independence and determination to break away from colonization.

Lopez praised Cuba, saying it was the prime example of the ideal nation, regardless of its size or enemies.

“Whenever we are willing to fight and resist, we can achieve independence,” he said.

Before ending his trip, the Puerto Rican hero said he was pleasantly surprised by his first visit to Cuba.

“It has been happier, more intense and much more rewarding than I expected,” Lopez said of his extended tour of the island nation where he spent the last two weeks.

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During his time on the island, Lopez visited the nation's schools, universities, and a number of historical sites such as the mausoleum of Ernesto “Che” Guevara as well as Fidel Castro's birthplace and tomb. He said if he could depart any message to youths and lovers of justice and freedom, it would be to follow the example of Fidel Castro.

While in Cuba, the freedom fighter was honored by the Council of the State of Cuba and initiated into the Oder of Solidarity.

The independence fighter was escorted to the Jose Marti International Airport by Fernando Gonzalez Llort, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). The two became friends over the four years they shared a cell during Lopez's 36-year sentence as US political prisoners.


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