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Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway isn't just remembered in
Cuba, he's an institution and a cottage industry.
The rambunctious American writer first started
frequenting the island in the 1920s, when he
was living just across the straits in Key West,
the southernmost of the islands on the tip of the
U.S.state of Florida.

He moved there with his third wife Martha Gellhorn in 1940 and lived there until 1960, when he returned to the United States for medical treatment. He committed suicide the following year in Ketchum, Idaho.

Cuba formed the backdrop for a lot of his writing, particularly 'The Old Man and the Sea', and the farm he lived in became a pilgrimage in the 1950s for Hollywood's rich and fashionable. Hemingway was genuinely loved in Cuba, where he was known simply as "Ernesto" (his rather self-conscious attempts to spread his own preferred nickname of "Papa" were not quite as successful). In his turn, he donated his own Nobel prize for Literature to the Cuban people, and when the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by Castro in 1959 he was reported to have been delighted

Entrance Finca Vigia

Hemingway met Castro in 1960, when Fidel awarded him several prizes for big game fishing. As narcissists obsessed with their own macho images, the two men had a lot in common. He described the revolution as 'an honest' one but it also has to be remembered that he died before Castro had declared himself to be a Communist.

All his haunts have now, predictably, become tourist meccas in Cuba. Starting with the Floridita bar he used to frequent in Havana, to his farm Finca Vigia which now lies on the edge of the expanding city, to the little fishing village of Cojimar 10 km east of Havana where he kept his yacht.

Finca Vigia is now a museum with Hemingway's library of 9,000 books, stuffed heads and the typewriter he used to compose many of his masterpieces all laid out just as they were. One thing which might alarm Castro supporters and revolutionaries the world over is that the Cuban leader was reported to have taken Hemingway's 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' - an account of the Spanish civil war - into the Sierra with him in the 1950s to read as an example of guerrilla war. Master wordsmith Hemingway certainly was but history has shown him to be a rather less reliable historian or journalist!





"El Pilar"Ernest's fishing boat 'El Pilar' is on display here. Cojimar is used as the setting for Hemingway's Nobel prize winning novel, 'The Old Man and the Sea'.
In 1962 a huge neo-clasical monument was built in Cojimar to honor Hemingway, and in its center is featured a guilded bust of the great American author and international sportsman.

Favorite spots of Ernest Hemingway:
- La Bodeguita del Medio, the bar in Habana Vieja where he used to drink his Mojitos.
- La Floridita In Habana Vieja as well for drinking his Daiquiries. Both bars are today very touristic and expensive places.
- Hotel Ambos Mundos was his favorite place to stay in Havana. They even saved his room as it used to be at that time

The Museo Hemingway
Monday to Saturday: Open from 9 am till 4 pm
Sunday: Open from 9 am till 12.30 pm
Admission about $3

Gregorio Fuentes

Gregorio FuentesBorn July 11 1897, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Hemingway's captain was probably the role model for the main character in the 'Old Man and the Sea'. He had lived at Calle 98 #209 till January 2002. He immigrated to Cuba as a 6-year-old boy onboard a ship in which his father was the cook. Tragically, his father died during the voyage. Another Canary Island immigrant took care of him. Around 1930 Hemingway hired Fuentes to captain his boat, 'El
Pilar', named after his wife at the time. After Hemingway left Cuba Fuentes donated the boat to the Cuban government.


HAVANA, Cuba (AP) --
January 13, 2002
Gregorio Fuentes, who was boat captain to Ernest Hemingway when the late American writer lived in Cuba, died early Sunday at age 104, his family said. Fuentes had suffered from cancer.
For nearly 30 years, Fuentes was captain, cook and friend to the American writer. Many say he was the inspiration for the protagonist in Hemingway's classic 'The Old Man and the Sea'."He died in the house he had always lived in," his grandson Rafael Fuentes, 48, told The Associated Press. He has buried Sunday afternoon.




Reviews about Ernest Hemingway and Finca Vigia


Name: glen roberts
Country: central coast of California

I've been all over Cuba during 7 visits from 1989 to 2007 totalling 240 days on the island almost entirely spent walking and talking to well over 2,000 Cubans

In response to one of your respondents, I got to Hemingway's house in Havana for the first time in 2000 and again in 2001 very easily by city bus, and you still can for 40 centavos moneda nacional. In response to the article, there's no reason to assume that Hemingway would have been less sympathetic to the Cuban revolution if he'd known Fidel would "turn" Communist. Robert Jordan, though not quite a communist, was fighting sympathetically with communist guerrillas against Franco in "For Whom The Bell Tolls," and so was Hemingway, as an obviously sympathetic reporter. The writer above is reflecting his own American upbringing and all the pervasive (literally religious) anti-communist brainwashing that afflicts most Americans. Fidel was philosophically a communist in college and his brother was a member of the party long before the Granma sailed for Cuba, and there's nothing wrong with that. Americans may be the only large population in the civilized world being kept eternally unaware by their tirelessly anti-communist media of the fact that Fidel was the most highly respected chief of state in the world during his entire presidency and of the new rise of a socialist revolution all over South and Central America today spiritually led by Fidel through Hugo Chavez. If you aren't stuck in rigid denial, you can get straight about all of this on my website

Name: Michael Zargarov
Country: Republica de Texas

Trip to Hemingway's Finca Vigia
San Miguel de Padron

I was able to hire a private antique car to take me nd some friends from near Parque Fraternidad to the Finca Vigia...for 5CUC.
It was a great trip. The House is so interesting, but its rather difficult to get to any other way.
The driver took us there, then waited to take us back to the city...for another 5Cuc. a real bargain.










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