Come out and Support the Campaign to Free Oscar!



A story 34 years in the making!

Hello Friends,
Alejandro and I have created a 32-page bilingual picture book for children ages 4+. It's title Planting Flags on Division Street / Plantando banderas en la calle Division is an allusion to what we hope to do by spotlighting aspects of our culture and telling the story of Oscar and his granddaughter, Karina.
"Karina loves dancing bomba. In the middle of the batey she shares her story. Today, Karina is desperately trying to get to a bombazo. Once she's on Paseo Boricua she can hear the Tan tun tun TAN of the bomba drums but, will she reach the community garden on time? Does Karina get to sing away her loneliness with the drums? Can Karina find the strength to believe that Abuelo Oscar will come home soon?"  

¿Y cuándo, cuándo, cuándo es?

¡Ahora, Ahora, AHORA ES!

As an educator I understand the importance of stories and how they shape and define impressions of ourselves as we relate to others. It's important for us to read, hear and tell stories that our children can relate to while also encouraging us to imagine, hope and dream of something better and work for a cause bigger than ourselves.

Please join with us to make a children's book that dreams for something better. Help us share the seeds of our culture as we tell Oscar and Karina's story.

Raquel, Alejandro & the rest of the team


When you do your Holiday shopping at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Puerto Rican Cultural Center

Bookmark the link and support us every time you shop.

Unidos por Puerto Rico/United for Puerto Rico
A Newsletter documenting the Puerto Rican Stateside Response to the Fiscal and Humanitarian Crisis
Historic Mobilization of Leaders from 10 States and the Commonwealth Gather for National Day of Action on Puerto Rico  (Washington, D.C.) 

By Hispanic Federation
December 2, 2015- In an historic mobilization to Washington, D.C., hundreds of Puerto Rican community, government, labor and faith leaders, and allies joined for a National Day of Action for Puerto Rico to urge Congress to pass legislation addressing the growing fiscal and humanitarian crisis on the island of Puerto Rico. Leaders from as far as Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts and Illinois met with dozens of Members of Congress today. The National Day of Action comes on the heels of yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Puerto Rico's fiscal crisis, as well as a congressional briefing.
"Puerto Rico's crisis is not simply financial or economic, but it is also humanitarian. 3.5 million American citizens are suffering from longstanding policies that originated in Washington and further inaction is simply unacceptable. There is no more room for delay. Congress must move forward with the Administration's proposal to address this crisis," stated Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-7).
In June 2015, Puerto Rico's Governor Alejandro García Padilla declared the Commonwealth's $72 billion debt "not payable," with the island effectively running out of cash to keep the government operating. The situation is putting at risk essential services such as police and fire protection, medical services and social supports. The crisis has forced a second "Great Migration" much like after World War II, with more than 250,000 Puerto Ricans leaving the island since 2010.
"Como he sostenido en innumerables ocasiones, la raíz de la crisis fiscal y económica que enfrenta Puerto Rico radica en el status territorial indigno de la isla, que permite que el Congreso discrimine en contra de los 3.5 millones de ciudadanos americanos en Puerto Rico. Como indiqué ayer en la vista del Senado federal, de la misma forma que el liderato de Puerto Rico tiene que aceptar sus fracasos, el Congreso tiene que reconocer su propia responsabilidad," said Pedro Pierluisi (PR Res Comm).
Puerto Rico has taken extraordinary measures to address the situation, including shuttering more than one hundred public schools, delaying people's tax refunds, increasing the retirement age, and borrowing from the worker's compensation fund. It has passed a draconian 2015 budget, which increased the sales tax from 7% to 11.5% and further reduced public investment by $674 million.
"Three and a half million of our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico are facing a dire economic crisis and a health care system on life support," said Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY). "We in Congress bear a special responsibility to come to Puerto Rico's aid and that's why this National Day of Action for Puerto Rico is so important. Congress must pass two pieces of legislation that I am sponsoring: one to provide Puerto Rico with the same treatment U.S. states currently enjoy under federal health programs and one to allow Puerto Rico access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protections. Together these bills give Puerto Rico the tools they need to get back on their feet. Along with many of my friends and colleagues in New York and in the Senate, I stand with Puerto Rico, and I will do everything in my power to impress upon my colleagues the urgent need to pass these two bills as soon as humanly possible."
However, Puerto Rico cannot "cut and tax" its way out of the crisis because more cuts will force more migration, which will further erode the tax base and feed a "death spiral" of ever-decreasing tax revenue and ever-increasing debt.
"Congress and the Administration must step up because Puerto Ricans deserve more from the federal government than passing the buck and saying 'you are on your own.' Like it or not, Puerto Rico is ruled from Washington which means Washington has responsibilities and obligations to fulfill," said Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-4).

"It is extremely important that we stand with Puerto Rico in restructuring its unsustainable debt burden. We also need to help them grow their economy so that Puerto Ricans can focus on the essential work of investing in a brighter economic future. The inequitable treatment by the federal government has constrained Puerto Rico's ability to restructure its debt through an orderly courtsupervised process. It is essential that Congress grants the government of Puerto Rico the legal authority to restructure the territory's public debt," said Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-13).
"The economic crisis in Puerto Rico will end only when Puerto Rico receives fair and equal treatment. Their government needs to enjoy the same economic protections, and the ability to deal with its hardships, as the rest of the nation," said Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-9)
"The Puerto Rican diaspora is fighting for our brothers and sisters on the island. We are united in calling on Congress to act to alleviate the debt and health care crisis in Puerto Rico. Failure for the U.S. federal government to effectively act to help Puerto Rico manage its own affairs will result in an economic calamity that will be unprecedented and will hurt more than 3.5 million U.S. citizens. We won't let that happen. The time to act is now," said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
"On behalf of the nearly 9 million Puerto Rican people on the island and in the U.S. mainland, we mobilize today to declare one simple fact: Puerto Rico is in the grips of an unprecedented fiscal crisis that requires immediate federal action. Congress has the social, moral and economic imperative to provide Puerto Rico the tools it needs to stabilize its economy and protect the livelihood of millions of American citizens living on the island. The failure to act will not only have devastating repercussions for Puerto Rico, it will deeply affect countless communities, towns and cities statewide for generations to come. Simply put, inaction is not an option," stated José Calderón, President, Hispanic Federation.

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

On Sale Now

November Chicago Magazine "Why José López Stands Between Gentrification and Humboldt Park"

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Chicago Magazine, which features an interview by Puerto Rican Cultural Center ED José E. López conducted by Elly Fishman.

Los Tequis
By newseditor, Lavasoft
As the holidays are around the corner and Black Friday sales start earlier every year, we want to keep our users safe and secure by providing the following online shopping tips: 
Is Everything Up-To-Date?
Before you start your online shopping, ensure that your preferred web browser is up-to-date. Most browsers list update information in the Help or About sections of their main menu and updates are a critical component of avoiding the latest security and privacy threats.
Additionally, ensure your operating system is up-to-date and that the latest security updates are downloaded and installed on the system. Most operating systems download and install critical system updates automatically so most users can skip this part. Windows users who've disabled this automatic update feature can search for the Windows Update interface. In Windows 7, this is accessible through the Start Menu search bar by typing "Windows Update." In Windows 8, click the Windows icon in the left corner to open the Start Screen and scroll to the far right- select the magnifying glass icon on the top right corner and search for Windows Update. Select "Check for updates" or "Check Now" depending on the respective operating system to verify that your version is up-to-date.
Check your antivirus software - are the latest virus definitions and updates installed? The user interface of your antivirus program should indicate whether additional updates are required. 

From Our Community Partners

The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has its own 
e-newsletter: The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar
Published approximately every two weeks
View past issues here.

Write to Oscar:
Oscar López Rivera, #87651
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
A Gift for Oscar and a Gift for You
By the National Boricua Human Rights Network
This holiday season, make a donation of $25 or more, NBHRN will provide you with the music CD "La Lucha es Vida Toda", which was put together by Puerto Rico's most famous musical legends, Lucecita, Andy Montañez, Roy Brown, El Topo, Zoraida Santiago and many more. A musical classic and well as a historical milestone, the other campaign to free Oscar.

Give a gift to Oscar and you will receive a gift.
For more information:

This the Second Limited Edition
AGUEYBANA - Roy Brown y Zoraida Santiago
MI PEPINO EN EL RECUERDO - Trío Taboas-Scharrón
EN CÍRCULOS - Mickie Rivera, Chabela, Antonio Cabán Vale "El Topo"
SEÑOR FEDERADO - Lucecita Benítez
LA CELDA - Walter Morciglio, Fofé, Eduardo Alegría
UN ABUELO Y SU NIETA  - (poema) Alicia Rodríguez
NIÑA - Danny Rivera
NO ME ARREPIENTO - (poema) Rafael Cancel Miranda
LA FIESTA DE OSCAR - Haciendo Punto en otro Son

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
o. 773/342-8023 f. 773/342-6609

"Live and Help to Live"