Maria Eugenia Velasco Martner: "The Neruda Foundation should fulfill the legacy of Cantalao"

By Mario Casasus, 16/01/2013



Mexico City. - In digital interview from Valparaiso, Maria Eugenia Velasco Martner supports the union strike Neruda Foundation, recalls daily life next to Uncle Paul in La Sebastiana, describes the reunion -40 years later with Enrique Segura, Manuel Araya and Rafita Plaza, while claims bad businesses Juan Agustín Figueroa: "I can not believe that the Foundation is operating at a loss. It would be interesting to know the inputs, expenditure and investment managers do not show through this information to their employees or to the community at large. For some time they have published several news about Neruda Foundation investments in properties of the family of Ricardo Claro. Moreover, the real estate is profiting Maulén name Pablo Neruda in hotels in Santiago and Viña del Mar ". The Neruda Foundation Board opposes the salary increase of $ 1,000 pesos ($ 2) per day for transportation and meals for the public workers of La Sebastiana, The Chascona and Isla Negra.

MC. - Maria Eugenia, why you were with the union workers Neruda Foundation day strike on Saturday?
MV. - When I read the news seemed incredible that workers houses museums nerudianas were on strike, moreover, by disagreements minimum: a bonus of $ 1,000 pesos per day in respect of transport and food, plus $ 200,000 pesos by the end of conflict. Neruda imagine how he would react to a company that also bears his name. Surely the first thing I would do is call the press, second: write a statement in support of the conflict, the printed and disseminated through the streets, creeks, and markets it to start. Neruda saw many times in Valparaiso supporting workers in conflict with their employers. For this reason I decided to go to Isla Negra and learn by them what was happening, share with them and encourage them. Strikes are hard, nobody wants them, but when you have exhausted regular mechanisms no choice.

MC. - La Tercera published: "The Neruda Foundation lost 24 million pesos a day for the strike." In an interview, Fernando Saez said: "workers living in a fantasy, do not want to believe that the foundation throws losses" (12/01/2013). The Neruda Foundation maintains an equity investment of $ 2.3 million in Cristalerías Chile (Pinochet owned Ricardo Claro) and not report profits of other shady dealings. Who lives between delirium and fantasy?
MV. - Handling little figures, but I can not believe that the Foundation is operating at a loss. It would be interesting to know the inputs, expenditure and investment managers do not show through this information to their employees or to the community at large. Rather I think it will be living delirium administrators, workers face the reality of everyday life.

For some time they have published several news about Neruda Foundation investments in properties of the family of Ricardo Claro. Moreover, the real estate is profiting Maulén name Pablo Neruda in hotels in Santiago and Viña del Mar, Angel Maulén, University exrector Pedro de Valdivia, is being investigated by the justice before the allegation of corruption in the National Accreditation, it is the employer who conducts business with the Neruda Foundation.

My father, in the preamble to his book Held at Lebu (1990), said: "When-The-Lebú longer useful as a prison was sold as 'junk', oh irony, to Communist China." What would my father say if he read the books with information on the contributions of Ricardo Claro-coup and the Intelligence Services of the Pinochet dictatorship?

MC-In the 1960s, the child met Enrique Segura, the current president of the Union of the Neruda Foundation, how you remembered?, When you left to see?
MV. - I had no idea that Henry Segura was president of the Union of Workers of the Neruda Foundation. In the 1960s, Uncle Paul taught to recite, when we went for the weekend to Isla Negra he climbed on a table and told us: "My secretary will recite them," Uncle Henry Paul regaloneaba much , my dad told me that the child's family strongly opposed to the possibility of adoption. Then the family moved to Henry Quisco not see him again. It was a great joy to know that he is at the head of the union in Isla Negra.

MC. - Neruda said "my secretary" the boy Enrique Segura, also said "Secretary" the young Mexican poet Hugo Gutiérrez Vega, and journalist Hernan Uribe said it was "a kind of secretary" of the poet. Why managers Neruda Foundation so hard for them to recognize that in addition to driver Manuel Araya was secretary and confidant of Johnny?
MV. - Look, I met Neruda in his daily life, he was easy, great organizer and was not short of ideas for distributing tasks to those who were around him, they were in compliance with pleasure, I think all we had the opportunity to meet a certain way were his secretaries, a fortiori it was Don Manuel Araya, he would be touched by his side when he returned from France, was designated to handle all things, in a political landscape quite loaded on all the days after the coup, in Isla Negra, the 3 alone, no one could get there. I had to live underground and know how to shake human relationships in times of danger. They were hard times and Manuel Araya was the confidant of Neruda through.

MC. - 40 years later, has gathered Neruda: January 12 reencontraste you with Enrique Segura and Rafita Plaza, and last year again Manuel Araya Vuskovic and talk to Sergio Martinez Gonzalo Corbalá ...
MV. - Sergio Vuskovic was happy to see Manuel Araya presentation in Buenos Aires of the double murder of Neruda (2012), says that after looking at it and looking at his picture was remembering those years. When he was mayor and Vuskovic Araya Neruda was the assistant did all the paperwork to get the port machinery Uncle Paul bought for printing the newspaper El Siglo.

For my part, on Saturday January 12, was happy to greet Rafita, not seen since the 1970s. We also talked a bit with Enrique Segura, and who walked to and fro concerned about the political act of the strike. I did not know the workers at La Sebastiana, because I never went back to the house that my parents cohabited with Uncle Paul, but Mrs. Mary reminded me who I was, they lived in a very poor collective faces and La Sebastiana Passage is entered by the Condor, Mrs. Mary was so excited to see me in Isla Negra, told me how well he got along with my mom and when she touched at times take care of my son in the hard years of my hiding and exile, was very exciting.

MC. - Belonged to the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR), however Neruda was active in the Communist Party (PC), or discussed? Exchanged ideas for a theme?
MV. - I remember a conversation on the Open Letter of Cuban writers, 1966, when he returned from the trip Neruda United States and Peru I was still living in La Sebastiana, lunch and Uncle Paul asked me what I thought about it, he conveyed that disagreed at all with their participation in the PEN Club and much less with his attendance at the meal with President Fernando Belaunde in Peru, the poet accepted both invitations despite the period of repression that we were living in Latin America; Uncle Paul said that his intention was not bothering anyone, I insisted on supporting Cuban intellectuals, then Uncle Paul looked at my dad and say, "see Pancho, your daughter thinks so because you are a bad communist" then my dad asked, "Why do you say that Paul?" Neruda said ironically: "because you do not read The Century and daughter either." On August 3, 1966, Neruda wrote at the end of a letter to my father: "Cubans want obedience to his plans. Sad. Embrace. Paul ". In the 1960s, reissued Losada Neruda Complete Works without epic song, that was very hard for young people of the time left.

MC. - But Neruda publish "chanson de geste" in Quimantú Editorial (1973) and Giuseppe Bellini entrusted with the translation of "chanson de geste" (1973) in Italy. Moving on, do young people were aware of the project left Neruda for scholarships for poets, artists and scientists in Cantalao?, Is the Chilean left should be on your agenda Cantalao recovery?
MV. - Of course, according to the development of the political situation in the People's Government could not stop epic song in exile. Regarding Cantalao, the best known was that Neruda wanted to build residences for writers in the fields of Punta de Tralca. The least known was: what would Neruda in these areas and how it was configured Cantalao Foundation. In my hand I knew something else, because the architectural plans were approved by Neruda my uncle Carlos Martner and draft Cantalao extended to the arts in general. Also something I learned about the remodeling of a place in Isla Negra where they were referred to a surely stone walls would ask my mom participation with stone wall, but nothing materialized, the coup came and everything was there. I have read articles where it speaks of "Cantalao dream", but reports that come out, as the existence of Statutes Cantalao-now I know they were not dreams, the project was concretized.

And yes, the future is Cantalao; ground contact with university students of History and Arts, come to ask about issues of Valparaiso "heritage city" and the work of my mom, inevitably comes the theme of La Sebastiana and Neruda. I talk about how important it was to acquire such land Neruda and his idea of that will go to the artists and poets of this country. I think the Foundation should take action on this matter and fulfill the legacy of Neruda.

MC. - On May 5, 2012, Neruda Foundation commemorated the centenary of Matilde Urrutia, what remains to be reviewed in the biography of The Chascona?, Did you witness any discourtesy of Patoja with Neruda's friends?,? Matilde on what responsibility should the current destination Neruda's legacy?
MV. - I'm not aware of the commemoration, or biographies about Aunt Matilda. We hear a lot of it, but usually gossip plan, I can not believe such comments. I'll stick with what I saw in my childhood, and the 3 or 4 times I saw during my exile in Venezuela and Spain. Matilda was a very nice person when he wanted to be, and very heavy and hurtful in the past. The memory I have of when we went to the island very often-my parents would not let us alone at home, she was responsible to take good care visits, and lunch will be perfect, but it was also the one responsible for scaring, especially reporters at the gates of Isla Negra.

In those days when there was a very unpleasant situation, I do not remember exactly what was taking place, but did the Spanish ambassador at the time, pulled the car to the inside of the fence, the car carried the flag Ambassador Franco, ie , the current but with the shield in the middle, we were all on the table in front of the steam engine, and had many guests including Arturo Lorenzo and Elena Gómez de la Cerna, his wife, they came with the Republicans in Winnipeg, Arturo was a excellent painter and participated in the defense of Madrid until the last minute, he told Laurita Arturo Reyes' lack of education does come with the flag Franco Neruda's house, "and Laura stops, goes to the car, take the flag and the breaks, in that furious Matilde comes from the kitchen and scolds Arthur: "how he could think of doing so at home"; Laurita Arturo he defends and he gets up and says: "I was," continued insulting Matilde Arturo Elena told: "we will". It was a very uncomfortable situation, my parents to see that Uncle Paul divert attention to something else, told me and my brother: "we will". And we went to Valparaiso. The comments of my parents in the Citroen were outraged by the act of Matilde. On that occasion he broke a long friendship between Lorenzo and Neruda. They were of the Shoe Club in Valparaiso, appear in many pictures, the group were close friends who had Uncle Paul in Valparaiso.

Regarding the fate of legacy of Neruda, Matilde has full responsibility, she is left with the legality Foundation has currently.

MC. - On September 23 will mark 40 years of the alleged murder of Neruda. What did your dad on the poet's illness, and what you think of the possible exhumation?, Would it be a relief to repression suffered by the communists in 1992 the official funeral?
MV. - Well, my father made it clear in his book: Neruda. The Great Friend (1987), wrote that Uncle Paul had a prostate cancer. Matilde told him that when they arrived in France consulted several doctors and was told that the tumor was inoperable, who had metastases in the pelvis. Never heard a different opinion about it.

The process leading Judge Mario Carroza and testimony of Don Manuel Araya I learned after the death of my father. I was treating them with my parents in their last years of illness. When my mom died of progressive disease were intensifying my dad, I started to care for him, in that period alternated with a few people and was not aware of the press reports. I am in favor of the exhumation, I think we have to use all resources to find the truth. My father thought that cancer was there, but I also think that the testimony of Don Manuel Araya is true. Hopefully justice can give us light on this.

Mario, do you mean the transfer of the remains of Neruda at Isla Negra?, I think most of the people who were on the beach were the companions of the PC, were there with their red flags and outside the house that Neruda had given his party many years ago. As we begin the speech by President Patricio Aylwin chifladera from the beach was great, would not let him speak. I was upstairs with my parents and Hamel Teruca very excited about the entrance ceremony of the remains, when I see that security issues the order to suppress and the police came down the street leading to the beach on horseback, saw people tearing down the rocks and some flags thrown on the sand. It was an outrageous spectacle. I never went to Isla Negra, until last Saturday when I went to share with the striking union workers.

MC. - Finally, do you think republish the books of Dr. Francisco Velasco?, Published? "In the mist of oblivion" his unpublished memoirs?, When will the book on the murals of Mary Martner?
MV. - The books published my dad were all funded by him as to the reissue of his books on Neruda, Martner Velasco family has not received any offers editorial. His unpublished memoirs and other writings are archived. At this time, as a family, we are focused on publishing a book on the work of my mom, giving importance to the murals in public spaces. A team of Chilean academics, living in Santiago, conduct research, and we are waiting for the text and then seek funding for printing. This book is much needed, people looking for information on the work of my mother finds nothing in libraries. The Mexican restaurateurs who worked at the pool Tupahue in mural design and execution of Juan O'Gorman Martner Mary, have been gathering information, they found nothing, so I did get to the technical office of the Metropolitan Park of Santiago material I had in my files about that mur.