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29741Preliminary tests on Pablo Neruda's remains

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  • Cort Greene
    May 2, 2013
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      Ramona Wadi

      Thursday, May 2, 2013
      Preliminary tests on Pablo Neruda's remains
      [image: File:Pablo Neruda
      a month after Pablo Neruda's body was exhumed, initial results published by
      Chile's Servicio Medico Legal indicate that the poet was suffering from an
      advanced and metastatic prostate cancer. However, the presence of cancer
      does not rule out the possibility of assassination by DINA, as claimed by
      Neruda's personal chauffeur Don Manuel Araya.

      Eduardo Contreras, lawyer of the Communist Party of Chile stated that the
      news of Neruda's illness was not surprising. Results concerning the
      presence of toxins, which would indicate an assassination, were being
      carried out in the US.

      Araya has questioned the official version of Neruda's death, a mere twelve
      days after the military dictatorship was unleashed upon Chile. In 2011, his
      version of events and accusations against the dictatorship were published
      in El Pais and later evolved into a book entitled 'El Doble Asesinato de
      Neruda' by Francisco Marin and Mario Cassasus, in which it is argued that
      Neruda was in fact planning to go into exile and instigate a formidable
      opposition to the dictatorship from abroad.

      The preliminary results have already been hailed by the right wing as proof
      of 'a leftist conspiracy'. Calling the exhumation a manipulation, the quest
      for memory has been swiftly ridiculed in a tangle of conspiracy
      accusations. For the Chilean left, proof tends to be regarded with
      suspicion after decades of succumbing to the indignities of dictatorial
      impunity which Pinochet negotiated as part of his brutal legacy.

      It should be noted that despite the exhumation of Salvador Allende's body
      and subsequent confirmation of suicide, many Chileans remain sceptical of
      this history. Following a historical update on Facebook during last year's
      September 11, the documented history did not include Allende's alleged
      suicide. Instead, a statement was issued declaring a strong belief that
      Allende has been murdered and therefore the historical re-enactment would
      end prior to the disputed act.

      In Asociacion Ilicita: Los Archivos Secretos de la Dictadura (Ceibo
      Ediciones, 2012) (review
      it is stated that close monitoring of intellectuals and other opponents in
      exile was carried out, in order to prevent the possible formation of a
      government in exile. In light of this revelation, it is indeed suspicious
      and utterly convenient for the fascist dictatorship that Neruda succumbed
      to his illness prior to his safe exit from Chile. With such close ties to
      Allende's government, Neruda would have been a mobilising factor for the
      Chilean left in exile.

      El Doble Asesinato de Neruda has been kindly provided to me by the
      publishers as a review copy. A review of the book - testimony and thoughts
      of Don Manuel Araya about the alleged assassination of Pablo Neruda, will
      be published on this blog by the end of next week.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]