Chilean writer Jorge Edwards, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 1999, close to Pablo Neruda and author of the book “Persona non grata”, in which he narrates his disenchantment with the Cuban Revolution, died on Friday in Madrid at the age of 91. In 2011 he was RFI’s guest to talk to us about the UNESCO program “Tagore, Neruda, Césaire: for a universal reconciliation”. Here you can listen to the program again.
Edwards was born in Santiago in 1931, studied at the Law School of the University of Chile and did postgraduate studies at Princeton University in the United States.
He served as a career diplomat between 1957 and 1973, in Paris, Lima and, in a destination that would mark him especially, Havana. His last ambassadorship was between 2010 and 2014, in Paris, under the first administration of the conservative Sebastián Piñera. “Today we bid farewell to a fundamental man of Chilean and Latin American literature, an intellectual who imprinted his fiber and thought in contemporary cultural activities,” said the Minister of Cultures of Chile, Jaime de Aguirre.
– Critic of Cuba, friend of Neruda –
Edwards spent three months in the Cuban capital in 1971 to open the Chilean embassy on behalf of Salvador Allende’s government, one of the first to reestablish diplomatic ties with Fidel Castro’s regime. His dual role as diplomat and writer allowed Edwards to be in contact with writers from the island who told him about life on the island, a different view from the official version.
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