Partisan Defense Committee Letter

27 June 2011

Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013


Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252

Drop the Charges Against Norberto González Claudio!

On June 27, the Partisan Defense Committee sent the following letter of protest to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Partisan Defense Committee condemns the arrest and prosecution of  Puerto Rican nationalist Norberto González Claudio and demands his freedom. 

The 66-year-old Mr. González Claudio faces over 200 years in prison—a death sentence—for the crime of dedicating his life to opposing U.S. colonialism in his native Puerto Rico. He is reputed to be a leader of the group Ejército Popular Boricua or Puerto Rican Popular Army, popularly known as Los Macheteros, which took credit for the 1983 robbery of $7 million from a Wells Fargo armored car depot in Connecticut.

Given the more than 100-year history of U.S. occupation, deprivation of democratic rights, brutal terror and frame-up prosecutions of those fighting for Puerto Rico’s independence, there is no reason to believe any of the charges against Mr. González Claudio. At the same time, we recall that money expropriated from Wells Fargo was used to buy and distribute toys to the impoverished children of Puerto Rico.

In their heyday, the Macheteros were widely admired across the Puerto Rico colony nation, a respect displayed by the outpouring of opposition six years ago, when dozens of FBI agents equipped with helicopters, military vehicles and machine guns participated in the coldblooded execution of one of the founders of that group, Filiberto Ojeda Ríos. The U.S. government’s efforts to condemn Mr. González Claudio to a prison death for a bank robbery over 25 years ago is part of campaign to criminalize all who would oppose U.S. imperialism and its more than a century of domination of that strategic island. We vigorously defend Puerto Rico's right to demand an end to U.S. colonialism.

We demand that all charges against Norberto González Claudio be dropped and he be released immediately and unconditionally.