Hemingway’s House in Cuba

Ernest Hemingway’s house is falling apart. Many lovers of his work would like to assist in its preservation. But because the house is in Cuba, sanctions are making it nearly impossible for Americans to contribute.
Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm, 10 miles east of Havana, is the place Ernest Hemingway called home from 1939 to 1960, and it is there that the author’s abundant tastes, in literature and in life, are on display. Visitors can see where Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea, where he dined with Errol Flynn and where Ava Gardner was reported to have skinnydipped.

Hemingway liked trouble, and the chances are he would have enjoyed the fact that he is still creating it almost 50 years after his death. Finca Vigia has become a symbol of the struggle between the US and Cuba.

For the past two years, a group of American organisations has been working to restore the battered house and save the manuscripts and books. But US sanctions against Cuba have hindered the group’s attempts to collaborate with the Cuban government. The Bush administration’s response has been mixed, flitting between acquiescence and obstruction.

Okay, I’m no fan of Fidel Castro or of his policies toward and treatment of the Cuban people, but something is seriously wrong with our our foreign policy when we can’t even preserve the home of one of the most important writers in the English language. As if Cuba still posed a serious threat to our national security. Whatever.

(Moore’s publicity stunt in Sicko, which I haven’t seen yet, is yet another trap the Left often falls into with the brutal but saavy dictator down there.)

Be sure to check out the accompanying slide show in the Guardian’s article. Needless to say, there are a lot of mounted animal heads.

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