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The Hemingway Connection

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 19, 2014

Under the auspices of the U.S.-Cuba Hemingway Commemorative Project: Protecting the Natural Resources of the Florida Straits, a distinguished group of 14 Americans, including John and Patrick Hemingway, historic preservationist Bob Vila, three prominent marine biologists/naturalists, Marty Arostegui of the International Game Fish Association, and former Smithsonian Magazine editor Carey Winfrey, will visit Cuba from September 7-13 to both celebrate the 60th anniversary of Hemingway’s Nobel Prize and meet with Cuban marine scientists to discuss cooperative programs to protect the natural resources of the Florida Straits that were such an essential component of the Hemingway legacy in Cuba.

The U.S. delegation will begin their visit in Cuba on Monday, Sept. 8 with a symbolic journey by boat from the Hemingway Marina in Havana to the fishing village of Cojimar. A ceremony in Cojimar will mark the 80th anniversary of the first time that Hemingway sailed his beloved fishing boat, Pilar, from Key West to Havana (July 19, 1934).  The village of Cojimar is where Hemingway often moored Pilar and where he came to know the local fishermen who provided the inspiration for The Old Man and the Sea, which was cited by the Swedish Academy in awarding the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway. 

On Thursday, Sept. 11, John and Patrick Hemingway will speak at a special commemoration at Hemingway’s estate, Finca Vigía, outside Havana, marking the 60th anniversary of their grandfather’s Nobel Prize, which medal Hemingway donated to the people of Cuba, declaring that “this award belongs to the people of Cuba, because my works were created and conceived in Cuba, in my village of Cojimar, of which I am a citizen.”

The group will also meet with Cuban marine scientists to discuss cooperative efforts to preserve marlin, tuna and other game fish in the Florida Straits, continuing Hemingway’s legacy of cataloging marlin with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in the summer of 1934.  With the participation of Academy Senior Fellow Robert McCracken Peck, work will continue to preserve those ocean resources that are so vitally important to the fishing and tourism industries of both Cuba and the United States.   

“Having members of the Hemingway family join the effort to help preserve shared U.S.-Cuba ocean resources is the best testament I can think of to the memory of their grandfather,” noted Ms. Mavis Anderson, Senior Associate of the Latin America Working Group Education Fund. “The United States and Cuba need to move beyond decades of frozen relations and cooperate on those issues of mutual benefit to the peoples of our two countries; we anticipate that this delegation and its participants will contribute to that cooperation.”

The trip is being organized by the Latin America Working Group Education Fund and US Pugwash/Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, both based in Washington, DC, together with Global Arts/Media (, based in New York. Travel services are provided by Common Ground Education & Travel, an agency specially licensed to provide travel services to Cuba (

Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, Board Member
Latin America Working Group Education Fund (
Email:; Phone: 202 468-3440

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