Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly, or ANC, honored former political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera on his first visit to the South American nation during a session Tuesday.
In the meeting with the assembly, Lopez Rivera, a life-long Puerto Rican independence activist who was freed in 2017 by a clemency order from former U.S. President Barack Obama, said the United States "will not allow Puerto Ricans to have a sovereign nation."
"To achieve this we have to fight, the United States will never allow Puerto Rico to be anything more than a colony," Lopez Rivera said.
The independence leader, who was imprisoned in the United States for 35 years, also said Washington maintains its racist ideology against Latin America and other countries, citing the proposed wall on the border with Mexico as an example.
For their part, the members of the Constituent Assemly expressed their support for Rivera and the cause of Puerto Rico.
"The strategy of the nation of the north is the subjugation of the people," said Adan Chavez, the president of the body's Commission of Interior Relations. "It is for that reason that they condemned some leaders like Oscar Lopez Rivera without cause."
Lopez Rivera, who arrived in Venezuela this Saturday, also reaffirmed his support for Venezuela as it faces U.S. interference and sanctions.
"The United States has no moral to meddle in the affairs of any country, it is a criminal State," he said.
On Monday, Lopez Rivera met with Venezuelan leaders, including Delcy Rodriguez and President Nicolas Maduro, who presented him with a replica of the sword used by Latin American independence leader, Simon Bolivar.