Hemingway is not only an imperishable memory for Cubans, especially for fishermen of the small fishing village of Cojímar and their families, where it represents a symbol of friendly relations between the peoples of the United States and Cuba.
As the writer himself said at the time, he considered himself ‘a Cuban commoner’, which apart from the short term set the tone for favourable relations that today, and for more than 50 years have been clouded by Washington’s obstacles against Havana.
Regardless of the disputes between historians who have different versions of when Hemingway first arrived in Cuba, the tourist, cultural and friendship route that novelist traced in this nation is totally true.
Ernest Hemingway was as Cuban as he was American. This statement is marked with a perennial imprint between wonderful corners of Cuba, where he lived on and off for more than 20 years.
The route includes the Havana Bay, Old Havana itself, the Ambos Mundos Hotel, the Floridita Bar-Restaurant, Las Terrazas de Cojímar (another bar-restaurant), the Hatuey Brewery (a current complex of venues and lounges), the Marina Hemingway, Finca Vigía, and the Megano and Coco keys.
The Bronze God of American Literature separated for himself spaces with a lot of character, where he met his friends, talked, drank or wrote.
He also selected streams for fishing or routes to chase German submarines during World War II, all those places currently indicated for a good ride. Born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Chicago, he first came to Cuba, to the Bay of Havana, on April 1, 1928, at 10:50 p.m. local time, during a cloudy night on a foggy horizon, as historians of the time recalled.
Specialists consider that the writer arrived in the Orita steamer, with an English flag, and this is how the entry of that boat is recorded in the books of the Castillo del Morro, the most emblematic fortress of Havana, the island capital.
He arrived at the time accompanied by his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, on a trip from France to Key West, with a stopover in Havana. She was five months pregnant.
A year later, the then-young reporter approached Cuban waters on the boat Anita to catch swordfish. These encounters made him love Cuba dearly.
But of all the places on his Cuban route, and today bears his name, the Marina Hemingway is perhaps the most significant, with 100 berths for life onboard yachts and home to the tournament that bears his name, which started in 1950 while the writer was alive.
The sea, his passion for Cubans and for fishing are essences of that indelible relationship, each year strongly remembered, despite the political discrepancies between the two countries that will one day disappear.