Song of Despair

Who was the culprit behind Pablo Neruda’s death on September 23, 1973? It has been widely believed that Neruda, Nobel Prize winner famous for his love poetry, died of prostate cancer. New evidence has emerged to suggest that it was not, in fact cancer, but a member of the secret police under Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The doctor present with Neruda at the time of the poet’s death has revealed that there was another doctor present, a Dr. Price, who name does not appear on any medical records. Even more intriguingly, the description of Price almost perfectly matches that of Michael Townley, a CIA double agent working for the Chilean secret police under Pinochet.

Forensic specialists are examining Neruda’s body for any suspicious aberrance, and Townley entered the witness protection program after admitting to killing Pinochet’s critics, so this case is far from being solved. But new developments, accompanied with Neruda’s wife’s previous statement that her husband did not die of cancer, certainly make foul play seem plausible. And, in truth, would it be so surprising that yet another oppressive government saw its own artists as a threat in need of silencing?

via The Independent


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