Since Latino USA premiered “The USA v. Oscar López Rivera” last Friday, listener comments about the episode —a product of close to one year of researching López Rivera’s story and conducting interviews with former Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) members, lawyers, FBI agents, journalists and Oscar himself— have been streaming in.
The episode, produced by Marlon Bishop and Maria Hinojosa, examined López Rivera’s controversial story to ask this question: Who is a freedom fighter, who is a terrorist, and who gets to decide?
Here is just a sampling of what you told us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Praise for the Episode
Morgan Thornberry: “Just listened to this last night while I cooked dinner. It’s a good one!”
Claudia Colindres Johnson: “Everyone who thinks there are no political prisoners in the US read this story.”
Ivette Roque: “I heard it this morning on the radio, NPR. Have to congratulate Maria Hinojosa and her team for such good work. I enjoyed very much listening to the facts on this story. Thank you.”
Michelle Tiger Violet: “Learned some important history tonight! Excellent podcast. Thank you!”
Roberto Caicedo: Keep up the good work NPR. To be Puerto Rican is to be Puerto Rican, Willie, that’s it.
? A great story by @latinousa to understand the complex US-Puerto Rico relationship https://t.co/ueRVvG2hoD
— Micro (@microgdl) January 31, 2017
My mother, @CarmenC510 (proud Boricua ??), told me that my abuelita knew Oscar López Rivera. Family oral histories: they matter! @LatinoUSA pic.twitter.com/FDSVKNpXEy
— Matt Collins (@matthewpcollins) January 30, 2017
@LatinoUSA heard report on Oscar Lopez Rivera and was riveted! @Lin_Manuel You should make a movie. There is a Fraunces Tavern connection!!
— Adrianne Hamilton (@agehamil) January 28, 2017
Critiques of the Episode
Willie Santana: “Most Puerto Ricans do not want independence, much less using terrorism to achieve it. This man is an unrepentant terrorist. A monster who should have died in prison. Time does not erase the lives he took. I love NPR and Latino USA, but I wish you would stop trying to glorify and justify this man and what he did. There are many other Puerto Ricans deserving praise and admiration, this man is not one of them. He’s far from the best of us.
The lead charge was seditious conspiracy. The other charges were: Use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony. Even then, seditious conspiracy would have been enough as the Supreme Court made clear that to be convicted of seditious conspiracy, one must specifically oppose by force the government of the United States while it is exerting its authority. Ultimately, prosecutors charge the best case they have, not all the crimes a person is criminally responsible for. I’m a lawyer, I know that process intimately.”
Rómulo Romero: “So Latino USA está defendiendo y glorificando un terrorista. Muy bien!” (So Latino USA is defending and glorifying a terrorist. Good job!)
So what do you think of the episode? Tweet us @LatinoUSA or add your comments below.