Puerto Ricans cheer commutation for nationalist Oscar Lopez

Many Puerto Ricans are celebrating after U.S. President Barack Obama announced he has commuted the sentence of 74-year-old nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Puerto Ricans have long demanded the release of Lopez. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in a violent struggle for independence for the U.S. island territory. His release was opposed by a national police organization among others.

oscar-lopez-rivera_small Puerto Ricans cheer commutation for nationalist Oscar Lopez Law

Lopez belonged to the ultranationalist Armed Forces of National Liberation. The group has claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings at public and commercial buildings during the 1970s and ’80s in U.S. cities including New York, Chicago and Washington.

Lopez attorney Jan Susler told The Associated Press she broke the news to him Tuesday and he was extremely grateful he’ll be released May 17.