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The Hemingways Return To Cuba

Patrick and John Hemingway, the grandsons of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, have traveled to Cuba on a scientific and diplomatic mission. They weren’t sent by the United States government, though they do hope to foster better relations between the two countries. The two men headed a team of marine biologists who hope to study the fishing journals of the great author. The Hemingways were welcomed by cheering crowds and a flotilla of ships honoring the beloved author. The journals are housed at his old home in Cojimar, outside of Havana. Hemingway lived in Cuba for decades and would often go on many day fishing trips. He was a meticulous note keeper and observed much about the marine life of Cuba. Because of the obvious restrictions on American scientists studying Cuba’s seas, Hemingway’s journals could prove invaluable in gathering information. Much separates the two countries but one thing they share is a love of Ernest Hemingway.

I’ve been to Cuba twice and can tell you that the memory of Ernest Hemingway is alive and well. You can find his books in any bookstore and his picture adorns every bar in Havana. They all brag that he used to drink there which is probably true, the guy was an alcoholic after all. In Cojimar the Cuban government has preserved Hemingway’s beloved fishing boat El Pilar that he left behind after traveling to the island became impossible after Castro’s revolution. I’ve often wondered if one of the ways that we can seek a mutual understanding between our two nations is through the person of Ernest Hemingway. He loved Cuba and the Cuban people and they loved him back. Culture and art has a way of bringing people together like nothing else. It will be interesting to see what his journals can teach us about the Cuban seas he loved so much.

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