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  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor and creator of the of the play

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor and creator of the of the play "Hamilton" | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 January 2017

The award-winning artist of Puerto Rican descent said he was “sobbing” upon hearing the Puerto Rican nationalist is to be released in May.

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda said he will bring the award-winning broadway play to Chicago to honor Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera, after his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama Tuesday after serving 36 years in a prison.

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“Sobbing with gratitude here in London. OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA IS COMING HOME,” Miranda tweeted Tuesday after the news. "I wish I was with every Puerto Rican in Chicago right now," he said in another tweet.

Lopez was born in Puerto Rico in 1943 and upon returning to Chicago after serving in the Vietnam War, in 1976, he joined the clandestine fight for the independence of Puerto Rico as a leader at the Armed Forces of National Liberation, known as FALN. In 1981, he was captured by the FBI and accused of "conspiracy" because of his activism.

Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent, tweeted at New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, asking her to tell Lopez Rivera when she meets him that "I've got a show for him in Chicago. It'll be my honor to play Hamilton the night he goes." It's likely to be a one-off performance or limited run in the city and no dates have been announced.

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The artist has been a critical voice of Washington's failure to deal with Puerto Rico's crippling US$73 billion debt crisis and he has urged Congress to take action to restructure the debt.

Miranda has won two Grammy Awards, three Tony Awards, a MacArthur “Genius” Award, and a Pulitzer Prize for drama, among other accolades.

He was honored for his international cultural achievements Wednesday with a new star on Puerto Rico’s Walk of Fame.

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