By now, you’ve probably Googled his name a few times to find out why everyone’s talking about him — Oscar Lopez Rivera.
Rivera is a Puerto Rican independence leader who has been imprisoned in the United States for 36 years, the longest-held political prisoner in the U.S. from Latin America. He was arrested by the FBI in 1981 for his involvement in the revolutionary struggle to free the Caribbean island from U.S. colonialism.
On Tuesday, outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama commuted Rivera’s sentence, allowing him to walk free on May 17.
News of his pardon immediately stirred up celebration on social media. But Puerto Ricans aren't the only ones who are celebrating — politicians, celebrities and activists across the world are cheering, too.
Here’s how the world is celebrating Rivera’s freedom.
Puerto Rican hip hop artist who is a member of Calle 13, an alternative rap collective that frequently protests U.S. colonialism.
“Oscar Lopez Rivera has been set free!! Puerto Rico, we come from the same heritage of struggle. We accomplished it united as brothers.”
Puerto Rican singer and actor who earned international fame with the Menudo boy band.
“Today my island is even more happy! There is justice. Thank you @BarackObama for liberating our very own Oscar Lopez”
United States Senator from Vermont and Democratic Party candidate during the 2016 presidential election.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla
Former governor of Puerto Rico.
“Congratulations for the liberation of Oscar Lopez. This was a struggle for all of Puerto Rico. Thank you @POTUS. -AGP”
United States-born attorney and political activist for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
“Congratulations Puerto Rico ... The union of global consciousness has accomplished the upcoming liberation of Oscar Lopez ... Venezuela is your home and country.”
Colombian journalist and president of teleSUR.
“Obama pardons Oscar Lopez. Learn his story: @profesorlupa youtu.be/-fHrzk4pyao.”
Chilean social justice activist and member of political rap duo Rebel Diaz.