Pascual Martínez : " In September 1973 we had dinner with Neruda, he looked rosy , in very good condition "

By Mario Casasús, Published on February 12, 2014



Mexico DF - In an exclusive interview with Clarí Pascual Martínez , Mexican diplomat and academic , describes his encounters with the poet Pablo Neruda : " Before coming to the clinic it showed no disease , dined with Neruda when he looked rosy , was very chatty , he ate, took and shared with us in very good condition . " The Cultural Attaché Mexico then in Chile recalls : "We had dined at the residence of the embassy to ask us to make the presentation of the invitation were preparing for the exhibition of Mexican art , with works by José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros . " In May 1973 : " We started working on the revision of the agreement with the Museum of Fine Arts Forest Park , to define the space, ask around the Fine Arts Building for the big presentation we do ."

BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM ) , Pascual Martínez Duarte is co-author of the book: Mexican diplomats and the Cold War. Memory and History 1947-1989 (University of Michoacan / SRE , 2009). Between 1972 and 1973 was the confidante of Gonzalo Martínez Corbalá , the Cultural Attache met - before anyone else - plans to rescue Neruda Santiago : " By phone received these instructions from Ambassador : ' The Lord invites eat our friend I dined with in former days '; replied : 'Very well.' The Ambassador asked - ' Do you understand ? ' I replied , 'Yes ,' and hung up. Five minutes later he called again Ambassador : ' forgot some personal things on the desk , pick them up , with regard to the above , if you do I understand? ', ' Yes , well ,' I replied. From the first call when the Ambassador said , 'The Lord ' , I understood that it was the President of Mexico , only he could be called ' Lord ' , and the word 'eat' implied the official residence of Los Pinos in the City of Mexico . We knew the phones were tapped , so I used the key: ' I dined with the previous days ' , was the poet Pablo Neruda . " It is the first time that Pascual Martinez gave an interview about the rescue of the Chilean poet .

MC - . Don Pascual , when he reported the plans of President Luis Echeverría to invite Neruda?
PM - . The first aircraft with the staff of the two diplomatic missions in September 1973 in Santiago de Chile were also Corbalá Ambassador Martinez and his family , Mexicans living in Santiago registered at the consulate and Family President Allende , left the night of September 15 , President Luis Echeverria received the passengers on that flight after the military parade for the celebration of Mexico 's Independence . The night of September 16th President Echeverria met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emilio Rabasa and the Ambassador Martinez Corbalá , by phone I received these instructions from Ambassador : " The Lord invites to dinner at our friend who ate at last Days " , I said," very well. " The Ambassador asked: - “Do you understand?” , I replied, " Yes," and hung up. Five minutes Ambassador called back: "I forgot some personal things on the desk, pick them up , in relation to the above, if do you understand me ? " “Yes, well," I replied. From the first call when the Ambassador said : "The Lord" , I understood that it was the President of Mexico , only he could be called "Lord" , and the word " eat " implied the official residence of Los Pinos in the City of Mexico . We knew the phones were tapped, so I used the key: “I dined with the previous days," was the poet Pablo Neruda. Ambassador Martinez Corbalá invited to dinner at Don Pablo , and kindly included me in that meeting , had dined at the residence of the embassy to ask us to make the presentation of the invitation were preparing for the exhibition of Mexican art , with works José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

We had prepared a cultural program to commemorate the Independence of Mexico and Chile, from 16 September to 18 September. There would also be an exhibition of handicrafts; we had to adapt the Museum of Fine Arts, because some parts of the building were in use, the budget rehabilitate embassy. We'd have a film festival, an exhibition of Mexican books and a series of lectures, the program was organized .

MC - . Where did your quest to invite the poet Pablo Neruda to Mexico?
PM - . September 17 I started looking Neruda, I went early to the Chascona but I realized that the house had been ransacked, they let the water run into the house, windows and furniture destroyed. On September 18, Ambassador Martinez Corbalá came to the Foreign Ministry, I can confirm this with the log of flights : " The Telex number 379. DC9 Aircraft Registration XASO Pudahuel landed today 17 September at 22:00. Sign the Director González Taush " . Ambassador returned from Mexico to Santiago on September 17, but as a precaution before the curfew, the crew of the DC9 Registration XASO he slept in the airport Pudahuel, was present at the Chancellery on September 18 , as the 7am . We had not slept for overwork in preparing applications for pass, allowing the transfer of inmates from the Embassy to the airport , the pressure exerted by the military, by the demands of the refugees , the lack of foods . In addition we asked for information that would be of them in Mexico .

. MC - Biographer David Schidlowsky issued a note to Ambassador Martinez Corbalá Neruda , inviting him to come to Mexico , dated 20 September September 1973. Do you maintain copies of the note ?
PM - . Not know what you said . Ambassador Martinez Corbalá gave me , September 18 , a letter from President Luis Echeverria for Neruda was an envelope of approximate dimensions 10 x 8 inches , the envelope was opened, the letter was not written on the letterhead of the Presidency of Mexico , but it was written in the handwriting of President Echeverria , making Neruda invitation to travel as Guest of Honor and Distinguished government of Mexico .

MC . - Returned to the Santa Maria Clinic after delivering the letter to President Echeverría Neruda?
PM - . Yeah back because after talking to Don Pablo , asked if I would receive the Ambassador to discuss the details of your trip. I moved to the residence of the Embassy , I explained to the Ambassador that after visiting several places , was the staff of the house of Neruda , who worked at Black Isle who had informed me that Neruda was in Santiago , in the Clinic Santa Mary, after I informed the Ambassador that he had spoken with the poet and was waiting in the clinic, to finalize details of the trip. I returned the next day, because Mrs. Matilde Urrutia was looking for a drug, I offered to get it the next day to give medicine to Mrs. Urrutia asked me , "How you managed to get the medicine in one night if I take ? looking for him for a month and you bring it to me now , you're an angel " , I replied," is that you did not come before the Embassy . " Thanks to a contact I had in Mexico , a friend bought the medicine took him to Benito Juarez Airport , the aircraft performed flights from Vancouver to Santiago , made a stopover in Mexico City , there remained two hours and arrived the next morning to the airport Pudahuel , in less than 24 hours Neruda was the medicine I needed .

MC - . Neruda What countenance was at St. Mary's Clinic ?
PM - . Neruda We had lived with two or three weeks earlier, but the clinic did not have the mood to talk or poet 's lexicon that characterized him .

MC . - Matilde Urrutia spoke forecast doctors giving him ?
. PM - No. I was worried when the doctor asked him a drug to attack cancer , Mrs. Matilde Urrutia said, " if I have drugs , what can I do ." Neruda suffered a triple blow : the death of President Salvador Allende who was his friend , the coup and his own illness, Neruda could not overcome the three strokes.

MC - . Who received Neruda 's belongings for the trip to Mexico ?
PM - . Gotta check my notes to see if it was the 19th or 20th September when they are handed to the Ambassador in the Santa Maria Clinic, after I received the belongings from the Ambassador , I took them to the diplomatic residence and protected them in the safe was a big suitcase , hat and manuscripts.

MC . - Accompanied the Ambassador during Neruda 's funeral ?
. PM - No. Corbalá Ambassador Martinez was kindly me to accompany him to the funeral of Neruda, but my duty was to continue working for political asylum for the CLP , also I was talking Mr. Fernando Gamboa because we need to protect the pictures that were in the Museum of Fine Arts, could not bring to the Embassy and the first aircraft had no ability to raise the packed boxes .

MC - . How many paintings were hung in the Museum of Fine Arts ?
PM - . Registration on my list I have 164, including paintings and drawings.

MC . - Everything was ready for the opening?
PM - . Yeah , from May we release , we started working on the revision of the agreement with the Museum of Fine Arts Forest Park , to define the space, ask around the Fine Arts building we make great presentation.

MC - . Returning Neruda 's funeral , did you hear the news that some friends Neruda Matilde Urrutia asked that Neruda 's funeral will be held in Mexico ?
PM - . That version does not have a direct function . I say this with modesty : I really hit Neruda's death , but then had to work to save the lives of people who were granted asylum in the Embassy , we had to feed them despite food shortages , we established an order a convivial rules , the Foreign Ministry seemed a prison , I made the decision to stay 24 hours every day, lived locked up, had to listen to the refugees , namely the problem of each to serve them. We knew perfectly well who had died the great poet Pablo Neruda, but we had to move on. In addition I established communication with religious organizations that supported the refugees .

MC - . Neruda How would you describe when you met ?
PM - . Prior to joining the Clinic Santa Maria it showed no disease, dined with Neruda when he looked rosy , was very talkative , ate , took and shared with us in very good condition .

Mk - Over dinner, they discussed ? Cantalao Foundation?
PM - . Neruda spoke of the idea in very general terms , mentioned that there was the need for a space for poets , other people do them shared the details of his Foundation.

MC - . What do you think about the complaint of the alleged murder of Neruda?
PM - . I reject that theory, I do not block driver 's complaint Neruda.

MC - . Denying medicines Neruda , is not considered negligence of the Santa Maria Clinic ?
PM - . Was a severe shortage of drugs , if you would only prescribed specialized treatment you could get at certain pharmacies. But we are analyzing Neruda 's death 40 years later, it's another world . We currently do not know the name of the medicine she needed , but I remember that Neruda had an IV .

MC - . Returned to Santiago for the reopening ceremony of diplomatic relations between Mexico and Chile (1990 ), plus you were born in Michoacán , the inevitable question would be , did you hear the Fifth Michoacan ?
PM - . !Yes , when I went to Temuco in 1972 , I stayed in a downtown hotel , I awoke the bells of the Cathedral , I discovered that the square of Temuco has a very similar to the square of Patzcuaro Michoacan stroke , I saw the people walking Temuco and thought, " I'm in my hometown , Patzcuaro Michoacan ." Seeing the struggle for peoples originating in Michoacan, Purepecha against the Spaniards , I think Neruda was identified in the struggle of the Mapuche against the Spaniards , I see a number of similarities between Temuco and Michoacan , so I think when Neruda has the possibility of building a house baptizes " Michoacán " . Mario , remember that Neruda was Chilean consul in Mexico and the University of Michoacán ( POSTECH ) awarded him an honorary doctorate , the poet made his first residency in Santiago with Delia del Carril, but never left her house, when finished marriage Hormiguita continued to live on Fifth Michoacán , but she was not the owner.

MC - . I found the marriage of Neruda and Delia del Carril in the village of Tetecala ( 02/07/1943 ), but never handled their divorce in Mexico ...
PM . - In this magical Mexico you may marry two or three times in different towns (laughs ) , once you have money you can get a " pirate " divorce at any registrar.

MC - . Finally , the poet Rafael Vargas is doing the paperwork to bring Chile Carrillo Gil Collection in 2014 , what advice would you give ?
PM - . Mexicans are very patriotic , do not know if patriotism has been for better or for worse , the Collection Carrillo Gil is considered a National Heritage therefore to leave the country a presidential Agreement requires , in addition to insurance for each box , the current Ambassador would have to do the process before the Chancery , or management could make to the National Council for Culture and the Arts ( CONACULTA ) , but I would advise that you first Step is made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( SRE ) , because it has a representative in Chile.

N. E. - The posthumous publication: " Three Men " was published on the front page of the newspaper mexicanoExcélsior ( 30/09/1973 ) .

Three men
These big three figurative wall plotted in Fig cloth or a country, these three great creators recreated , these developers revealed Mexico owes the figure, creation and revelation.

And Mexico is not land like that, or speculative or colonial dance : it is tragic grandeur , epic serenade cadence of most volcanic heart of our continent. These men fulfilled the commandment of buried gods and heroes bare : her painting is essential , geography , motion, talent and glory of a formidable nation.

All they could lose themselves in their excellence and skill ( as Diego in the cubist brightness) , but the three preferred address with all its powers by setting the perishable truth in his homeland as responsible builders, linked to the destination and the long struggle of a people.

I had to live with them and participate in the life and light of dazzling Mexico.

If I were amazed with her strength and tenderness in his homeland, here in mine see the fervor of Chileans. The fire of this painting that cannot be turned off , also lives in our circumstance, we need your telluric power to reveal the powers of our people.

And to affirm the faith and conscience of our high destiny of America united in their roots by the earth , blood, and the defense of our essences

These three Mexican teachers indicate the responsibility for its greatness the assert