Chile pays tribute to Palestine at Edmonton Heritage Festival

Ahram Online, Tuesday 5 Aug 2014

Chile recalls Chilean poet and songwriter as it pays tribute to Palestine during three-day festival held in Edmonton

Held between 2 and 4 August, the Edmonton Heritage Festival in Canada brings over 85 cultures to local audiences through pavillons and artistic performances taking place at the Hawrelak park.

When the representative from Chile took the stage, she began by talking about Víctor Jara, Chilean poet, singer, songwriter and political activist, killed by the military regime in 1973. She recalled that his work was aimed at shedding light on injustice and called for peace.

"Today when we celebrate culture and diversity, we learn that we are all different and yet so much alike," stated representative of the Chilean community. She added that all cultures have right to live in peace referencing Jara's iconic song The Right to Live in Peace. The song which was played during the event mentions international events of Jara's era, including the Vietnam War.

"Jara was killed by the military dictatorship in 1973. They killed him but they could not kill his voice and the song continues to bring message of peace and hope. This is our message through music, not to forget those who have died in the Palestinian land," the presenter continued.

Jara, member of the Communist Party of Chile, used his musical talent to fight for human rights and justice. He was shot dead shorty after the military coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet, Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army (1973 - 1998) which was backed by the United States. The coup overthrew the civilian government of socialist president Salvador Allende in September 1973.

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