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Cancel Miranda, PR nationalist who attacked Congress, dies

March 3, 2020 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Rafael Cancel Miranda, one of the Puerto Rican nationalists arrested for opening fire inside the U.S. Congress in 1954, has died at his residence in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was 89 years old.

Cancel Miranda was the last survivor of the group who opened fire in Congress on March 1, 1954, as part of a campaign to win independence for Puerto Rico.

Five members of Congress were wounded, none fatally.

Cancel Miranda died Monday night at home after being hospitalized for several weeks due to multiple health problems, his family said in a written statement.

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The attack on Congress was carried out by Cancel Mirando and fellow nationalists Lolita Lebrón, Irving Flores Rodríguez and Andrés Figueroa Cordero, who were all swiftly arrested. Cancel Miranda was sentenced to 84 years in prison and served more than 25.

President Jimmy Carter commuted the nationalists’ sentences in 1979.

Cancel Miranda continued to campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico and participated in marches and demonstrations. He also actively participated in the campaign for the release of nationalist Oscar López Rivera, and published nine books.