Saving Pablo Neruda

It is a source of some pride that in the late 1940s, my grandfather, Victor Bianchi, saved the life of Chile’s treasured poet, Pablo Neruda. Neruda was in hiding from anti-communist forces in Chile and faced a choice of arrest (torture and death) if he didn’t get out of the country. My grandfather, who was skilled at mountaineering and very familiar with trails in the Andes, escorted Neruda across the border. It seems Neruda was somewhat of a pain to deal with, as described in my grandfather’s diary and reported in a biography of Neruda (see photos).

5 thoughts on “Saving Pablo Neruda

      • I “Liked” and then “unLiked” because it felt weird liking the fact you never met your grandfather due to him dying young. I’m glad you have that record of his life, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries, Tracy. My mother was an immigrant to the U.S, from Chile. Many of my family members were supporters of the Allende government, and some were arrested after the Pinochet coup and tortured, others, like my uncle (the son of the aforementioned Victor Bianchi) needed to leave the country with his family for a while (as did Pablo Neruda a generation before) to avoid being arrested and probably killed. The finest moment in my life was perhaps sitting with these family members during a visit to Valparaiso (where the coup was organized) and drinking a toast to the death of Pinochet.

        Liked by 1 person

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