SANTIAGO – The Culture Committee of the Chamber of Deputies yesterday approved the bill that seeks to change the name of Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport to that of Pablo Neruda International Airport.
According to what was published by Radio Bío Bío, the body also approved an indication that maintains the name of the national terminal as Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez, the founder and first commander-in-chief of the Chilean Air Force (FACh), leader of the aviation and creator of the National Airline (LAN).
PPD deputy Carolina Marzán appreciated the initiative, which will now be discussed in the Chamber of the Chamber of Deputies.
“We believe that this is a project that makes us good as a country, which is good for our cultural memory, since its main objective is to recognize one of the most important figures of the letters not only in our country, but also internationally, “said Marzán.
The parliamentarian said that although there have been similar motions that have been rejected in the House, “it is time to put political differences aside, and highlight the poet, the man who filled all Chileans and Chileans with pride by winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.”
“We want that when foreigners and tourists visit Chilean soil, the first thing they see is the name of the poet Pablo Neruda,” he added.
The bill will now be voted in the Chamber of the Lower House.
Pablo Neruda, who was 69 years old and suffering from prostate cancer, died in Chile’s post-coup chaos. The official version was that he died of cachexia, or weakness and wasting of the body due to chronic illness.
Neruda’s body was exhumed in 2013 to determine the cause of his death but those tests showed no toxic agents or poisons in his bones. His family and driver demanded further investigation.
Neruda was best known for his love poems. But he was also a friend of socialist President Salvador Allende, who killed himself rather than surrender to troops during the September 11, 1973, right-wing coup led by Pinochet.
Neruda officially died there September 23 from natural causes. But suspicions that the dictatorship had a hand in the death remained long after Chile returned to democracy in 1990.