The parole hearing that wasn’t: Norberto González Claudio

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October 10, 2014

On October 9, U.S. Parole Commission and Federal Bureau of Prisons [BOP] personnel had arranged for a parole hearing for Puerto Rican political prisoner Norberto González Claudio at FCI Coleman Low, Florida, where he is serving a 5 year sentence related to the Macheteros’ 1983 expropriation of more than $7 million from a Wells Fargo Depot in Hartford, Connecticut.

In April of 2014, the U.S. Parole Commission determined that Norberto would not be released on parole, and that he would have to serve the remainder of his sentence behind bars. The October hearing was scheduled to coincide with Norberto’s having served two-thirds of his 5 year sentence.

Norberto’s release date, according to the BOP, is January 15, 2015, after which he must serve 180 days on supervision. He must then serve the term of 3 years supervised release, which was part of his sentence.

Given that the Parole Commission was not likely to change its decision, and that even if it did, it was more advantageous not to proceed with the parole hearing, Norberto decided to waive the parole hearing. He will walk out of prison on January 15, 2015, to the waiting arms of his family and the people of Puerto Rico.

He sent this message to his people:

Compañeros and compañeras, I’m doing just fine and things are improving. We’ll see each other soon. My out date continues to be the same, January 15. My thoughts are always with you and my Puerto Rican working class. I love all of you. The struggle continues.

The Orlando Chapter of the NBHRN hosted political prisoner Norberto Gonzalez’s family who is incarcerated in Coleman, Florida. Coming from Puerto Rico with the surprise visit was an overwhelming delight for everyone.