Lin-Manuel Miranda, the award-winning creator of Broadway hit “Hamilton,” tweeted Tuesday that he’d play the lead role in a Chicago show for Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera—who is set to be released from prison after a presidential commutation.
President Barack Obama announced the commutation of the 74-year-old's sentence the same day. Lopez Rivera 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.
“Sobbing with gratitude here in London,” Miranda tweeted. “Oscar Lopez Rivera is coming home. Thank you, [President Barack Obama].”
The string of tweets was sent to New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Mark-Viverito tweeted back that she had told Lopez Rivera about the invite.
"What a treat!" she tweeted. "But he deserves it!"
Lopez Rivera, who grew up in Chicago, was convicted of seditious conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government in 1981, the Chicago Tribune reports. He is set to be released May 17.
Lopez Rivera 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.
"I wish I was with every Puerto Rican in Chicago right now," Miranda tweeted.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a Puerto Rican born in Chicago, noted in a statement Tuesday that Rivera Lopez was never charged with or convicted of harming anyone. He said he has been fighting for Rivera Lopez’s release since he was elected to Congress in 1992.
“Releasing Oscar Lopez Rivera back to his homeland and his people is a step towards peace and reconciliation and is being celebrated by Puerto Ricans of all political stripes, classes, colors and geographies,” the statement reads. “He is a national hero no less significant than Roberto Clemente or any leader we have ever had. It will be a blessed day when I can walk and talk with my friend in the fresh air, far from prison walls, and I am so looking forward to that day.”
Gutierrez also called Lopez Rivera a friend and mentor in the statement.
Upon his return to Puerto Rico, the AP reports, Lopez Rivera plans to spend time with his daughter and granddaughter and wants to establish a think tank that will work on such problems as climate change, the economy and the island's political status.