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.
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