A Puerto Rican gunman, whose sentence was commuted by President Carter so he could go home to die, has arrived back in San Juan.
MV EXT Ambulance PAN TO cheering crowd
MV Released Puerto Rican Andres Cordero steps out of ambulance draped in a flag
MV Poster PAN TO crowds
MV Cordero speaking to crowd through megaphone
GVs Crowd cheering and applauding (3 shots)
HUNT: "Several hundred members of the nationalist Parties that want independence for Puerto Rico were waiting for Cordero with a hero's welcome as he was driven up in an ambulance at San Juan airport. He now weighs only a hundred pounds; his face was drawn and his voice was weak when he was hoisted onto a truck to speak with a flag draped around his shoulders. Cordero told a cheering crowd he is now more revolutionary than ever. He demanded freedom for the three other terrorists who joined him in attacking the House of Representatives and declared that Puerto Rico could be liberated only by force. There was not a word of remorse for the five Congressmen who were wounded in the Washington attack. It may have been Cordero's last appearance. He was taken to Puerto Rico's best cancer hospital, but he's given only four to eight weeks to live. Richard Hunt, NBC News, San Juan, Puerto Rico."
At the time of the attack, on 1 March, 1954, a hundred members of the House of Representatives were debating an agriculture bill. The ceiling of the House chamber still has a bullet hole from one of the 20 to 25 shots fired by the four Puerto Ricans. The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a United States possession with Commonwealth status, and Puerto Ricans are American citizens.
REPORTER: RICHARD HUNT
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Background: A Puerto Rican gunman, whose sentence was commuted by President Carter so he could go home to die, has arrived back in San Juan. Andres Figueroa Cordero, who is now 52, was jailed for 25 to 70 years for his part in a terrorist attack inside the United States House of Representatives in 1954. But he is now suffering from terminal cancer. Richard Hunt of the National Broadcasting Company Incorporated, was there when Cordero arrived home.