Havana, Cuba.- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez today mourned the death, at 89 years old, of the well known Puerto Rican independence fighter Rafael Cancel.
Our heartfelt condolences to the Puerto Rican people, their families and loved ones, wrote the Cuban Foreign Minister on his Twitter account.
Cancel, who died yesterday, spent more than two decades in the United States prison, among other reasons for refusing to serve in that nation’s armed forces.
He was sentenced in 1954 to a life sentence in the northern nation for attacking Congress to draw international attention to Puerto Rico’s colonial case.
Under international pressure, President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) granted him amnesty in 1979 along with other comrades, after 25 years in prison.
After his release, Cancel continued his political activism for Puerto Rican independence and participated in campaigns for the release of other political prisoners such as the Cuban Five Heroes, imprisoned for fighting terrorism.
He also stood out as a writer with a vast work that included political essays and poems, he says in his biography.
His father and Puerto Rican independence leader Pedro Albizu guided Rafael in his patriotic formation and at age of 15 he formalized his commitment to the ideal of independence for his country by joining the Nationalist Party.