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hemingway and castro
Ernest Hemingway and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro exchange pleasantries at seaside after Castro won the individual championship in the annual Hemingway Anglers Tournament on May 15, 1960. (AP Photo/str)

By Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.

Following publication of his book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, Humberto Fontova gave an interview to The Daily Caller that was turned into an excellent article published on September 4, 2013. The article generated considerable attention, an eye-opening exposé on the embarrassing tidbits it brought to light about Ernest Hemingway’s outlandish behavior following the Cuban Revolution.

Hemingway’s reputation should be permanently stained by this, at least among independent thinkers and conservatives. The article attracted the attention of the editor of RealClearHistory, the late Samuel Chi, who was kind enough to send me the link.

From The Daily Caller:

While Fontova writes about influential Cuban agents in the United States and how the mainstream media continues to suck up to the Castro brothers in his new book, perhaps his most shockingly lurid anecdote is of writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba at the time of the Cuban Revolution.

“Hemingway hailed Castro’s revolution as ‘very pure and beautiful,’” Fontova said. “He was also a guest of honor at many of Che Guevara’s firing squad massacres. Hemingway loved to watch Che’s firing squads murder hundreds of Cubans. Hemingway would watch the massacres from a picnic chair while sipping Daiquiris.”

This took place soon after the Cuban Revolution at the Fortaleza de la Cabana fortress that was converted into a prison for enemies of the revolution, where its huge masonry walls from Spanish Colonial times became the firing squad walls and the courtyard became a killing field for the vengeful revolutionists.

Cuban firing squad

“Several men who survived La Cabana prison recall a night when a 14-year-old boy was shoved into their holding cell. When asked what he did, he gasped that he had tried to defend his father from the firing squad, but was unsuccessful.

Moments later, guards dragged the boy out of the cell, and Che Guevara himself ordered the boy to kneel down. The jailed men screamed “assassins!” and watched out of their cell window as Guevara took out his pistol, put the barrel to the back of the boy’s neck, and fired.” This extracted from “Butcher of La Cabana.”

Che Guevara
This June 12, 1962 file photo shows Cuban revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Tony Ortega)

It is indeed a disturbing article, but the facts therein cited are consistent with what I know to be true. Hemingway enjoyed his Mojitos and Daiquiris while rubbing elbows with revolutionaries in the island paradise that the Cuban Revolution has since turned into a wasteland.

Hemingway loved Fidel Castro as well as all left-wing revolutions, and the places he frequented in Cuba are communist shrines today.

It is a travesty that an intelligent man and great author such as Hemingway had such an affinity for tyrants like the Castro brothers and their sidekick Guevara, but unfortunately, it’s true. Hemingway fell for Fidel, hook, line, and sinker just like the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez did over the years.

Hemingway favored the communist side in the Spanish Civil War where 500,000 people perished. He went out of his way to misreport the war and advised John Dos Passos to do the same. Hemingway advised his fellow correspondent that if Dos Passos wanted his journalistic and novelistic work promoted by the print media and the publishing establishment he had better toe the communist line! Dos Passos refused.

So while both of them were initially men of the left, Hemingway prospered, while Dos Passos stalled. Some of the other tidbits come from Hemingway’s own mouth, or rather his pen. In his book, The Fifth Column: And Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway even confesses to crimes, such as turning former friends over to the Republican (communist) secret police. In fact, it was the reality of the civil war in Spain and communist treachery that turned Dos Passos — and many others, such as George Orwell — away from socialism and communism.

During the Spanish Civil War, there was systematic assassination of fellow Republicans, men of the left, such as Dos Passos’ friend, José Robles, and numerous others, including Andres Nin, who were accused of being Trotskyites by Stalin’s NKVD goon squad.

Robles’ execution, probably ordered by Stalin’s NKVD General, Alexander Orlov, caused a the rift between Hemingway and Dos Passos, who had been longtime friends and fellow travelers. Hemingway condoned the assassination, as “necessary in time of war.” Dos Passos, embittered by the death of his friend, broke away from communism and began his remarkable odyssey to the political right. Dos Passos moved to the American Republican party and supported Barry Goldwater in the 1964 U.S. presidential election.

I have touched upon the theme of betrayal and assassination of “ideological deviationists” by communists during civil wars and revolutions in previous articles and comments. Communists use assassination and purges of fellow revolutionaries in their quest for ideological purity, following the line Vladimir I. Lenin delineated as far back as 1917.

Returning to The Daily Caller article, an astute commenter who was not at all happy with Hemingway sipping Daiquiris and being entertained by Che while watching the Cuban firing squads, wrote sardonically but with clarity:

“Hemingway like all Leftists was an endlessly self-promoting cowardly narcissistic braggart of modest talent who bullied everyone around him. It is little wonder that when his time of terminal decline was upon him he used a shotgun to avoid the pain and indignity of death. Such a person would have no interest in the suffering of others because being near the power of life and death, and not be threatened by it because of your international status, is the ultimate Leftist aphrodisiac that made him appear to be actually alive.”

He has a point.

In the meantime, let’s return to the here and now as we ponder perhaps the most important election in the last 150 years looming within a few days. Consider the lessons of history — e.g., what happened during the French and Russian revolutions, not to mention the Weimar Republic where a democratic process paved the way to power for totalitarians.

Will “intransigent” conservatives be judged by the new revolutionaries of the left, egged on by those in popular culture and the media, in the same manner that Che Guevara and Ernest Hemingway judged others?


Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is Associate Editor in Chief in socioeconomics, politics, medicine, and world affairs of Surgical Neurology International. He was appointed and served at the behest of President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2002-2005. His recently released book is America, Guns, and Freedom: A Journey Into Politics and the Public Health & Gun Control Movements (2019).

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  1. Thank you, Dr. Faria. I read Dos Passos novel, “Three Soldiers” in a graduate seminar on the ani-war novels of the 20th century. I had no idea that he turned from Communism, nor that Hemmingway was a Communist. Thank you for this information. I want to read “The Longest Romance” now.

    • Excellent point… leftists sure don’t know their own history.

      Furthermore, they always tout the French Revolution as example of what they want… but then completely ignore the Napoleonic wars.

      • They also see their history as a plan for the future. As much as they will claim to try to do their revolution differently, they will always follow the same path.

  2. We have seen all of this, read all of this, and know what is coming. We will not stand by and let it to happen to us the way it happened to so many others.

  3. This explains why Hemmingway invited Soviet propagandists Ilf and Petrov to fish with him when they visited the US in the 1930s.

  4. it will be so in the political arena, only without bullets. they will purge all the conservatives. govt will never be the same again.

    crimes, atrocities, injustice and discrimination to civilian conservatives will be ignored. corruption will be not just rampant but flagrant.

    how could it be? because that IS what they want, isn’t it? haven’t they been halfway doing this a;ready?

    they will have it if they win the elections.

    • There has never been a socialist revolution that avoided bullets. Getting rid of enemies is the only thing that a socialist government is efficient at.

  5. “The friend may be up for a straw purchase charge, it seems. Or are there nuances to the law that we’re not aware of?”

    A good article (or two?), but ending with an intellectually vapid question.

  6. Great. I literally just finished purchasing some Hemingway works a few days ago. Guess I’ll have to move them to the enemy section.

      • No kidding, lol. Never knew Hemingway was a filthy Commie! Frankly, besides The Old Man and the Sea I’d never read any of his works, and didn’t know much about him. And of course cursory research says nothing about anything mentioned here. As I read what I bought I’ll keep in mind his political stances and see if any of that comes out in his works.

  7. I’m doubting this will happen here…WE the people have a few guns. Hemingway was a commie and Joe McCarthy was correct!!!

    • “Hemingway is HIGHLY HIGHLY overrated.”

      Pushin, Solzhenitsyn, Nabakov, Checkov, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and even Shakespeare…if you take them out of their context of time and contemporaries.

      • Hemingway’s works do not compare at all favorably to those of the writers you list. Hemingway was a drunk, a communist, and a woman-abuser. He was very much lauded by the “fake news” of his day because he made them money and they could ride on his coat-tails.

        One of his most famous quotes is: all thinking men are atheists.

        Though he played up the image as a sportsman, he was a known leftist sympathizer and the Guardian newspaper even published an article that he was a “failed KGB agent.” Whether that is true or not, it says much not only about him but how his influence was viewed at the time. I suspect if he was alive today he would be a radical leftist in the mold of Sanders, or the vice-presidential candidate for the Democrat party, Harris.

        He was not as anti-American as they come, but close.

        Guardian article.

        • Really? You are asserting that personal character and political affinity determine the impact/importance of an author?

        • An interesting question that I unfortunately am replying to outside the normal time frame for looking back through comments.

          After reading that Hemmingway gladly watched Castro’s death squads murder people for not being Communists that… Yes, his immorality and poor character taint his writings.

          • “Yes, his immorality and poor character taint his writings.”

            Then, if Dr. Jonas Salk had been a pedophile, his polio vaccine would be tainted such as to be suppressed.

            If art is to be judged on the basis of the morality of the artist, then the judgement is not about art, but about morality. A failed artist (painter) was declared a failure because his talent was sub-standard, not because he created one of the most efficient killing machines the world has ever seen.

            There was a western shoot-em up released in 1952k that was well made, yet received much public criticism because it was claimed to be an immoral commentary on the good moral character of Americans. The movie remains a classic to this day, yet was accurately prohpetic about the corruption of the American moral character we experience today.

            The world proclaims the genius and skill of the works of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, but his character was not ever used to evaluate his work, only his skill and influence.

        • Sam, equating the value of literature to that of hard science is ridiculous. If Salk had been a pedophile, celebrate his brilliant discovery for a week, then hang him. Hemingway? Using his books as fuel, burn him at the stake.

          • “Sam, equating the value of literature to that of hard science is ridiculous. ”

            Not at all. Comparing achievement to achievement; achiever to achiever. The premise is that the morality of the achiever determines the value of the work. You can pick any achievement/achiever to any other, and ask if the morality of the achiever truly determines the value/efficacy/utility of the achievement.

            Hemingway influenced fiction writers significantly. His turn of phrase, use of metaphor, analogy of weather to mood of the scene, and his brevity was a significant break with the ideas of the past regarding appealing writing. Hemingway was a friend of Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was/is a celebrated novelist, yet his moral character is not to be recommended.

            Comparing art to art (in painting, for instance, nothing since 1900 can really be considered “art” compared to the accepted Masters), must be done in context of the times, techniques, vision, skill of the artist. It is useless, if not silly, to compare Rembrant with LeRoy Neiman. Except…how each artist achieved desired results and influence of their time. But to require that each artist must be a paragon of morality in order for their achievement to be valued moves from art to societial norms of the day.

            It is one thing to decide that one does not intend to read, or tolerate, the artistic work of one or the artist because the morality of the artist offends the senses, and quite another to proclaim that the output of the artist is of lesser quality and influence because of the morality of the artist. Just accept that the evaluation is not about art, but about differing ideas of value based solely on one’s prefered moral standards.

          • “If the painter was Hitler it is a shame he was not talented enough to become a famous painter.”

            Then we would have had a painter with successful art sales used to finance a war.

  8. “Hemingway hailed Castro’s revolution as ‘very pure and beautiful,’” Fontova said. “He was also a guest of honor at many of Che Guevara’s firing squad massacres. Hemingway loved to watch Che’s firing squads murder hundreds of Cubans. Hemingway would watch the massacres from a picnic chair while sipping Daiquiris.”

    I can easily imagine Hollywood Leftist scum dreaming about doing that to Trump and his supporters.

    A few late-breaking tid-bits :

    The Pittsburgh Post, for the first time in almost 50 years, endorses Trump :

    “BOOM! Philadelphia Police and Fire Fighters Union endorses Trump! They have never endorsed a Republican Presidential Candidate.”

    • “Hemingway offed himself with a shotgun. I see why now.”

      If only a certain troll here would do the same.

      Dance, boy. Do as you are told by your betters… 😉

      • Pffft. You’re nobody’s better, Goof. How was church today? I bet you loved watching the boys’ choir 🤣.

        Trump/Pence 2020

        • I’m your better, since you did exactly as I told you to do, like a good little monkey so frustrated by being locked up in cage at the zoo, all you can do is screech and fling your own shit.

          Do as you’re told , boy. Keep dancing.

          I’m on the outside, and you’re stuck forever in cage that stinks of shit… 🙂

  9. Read a few Hemmingway books back in High School and never thought them worth my time. Now I know why so many leftists loved his books, it certainly wasn’t for the quality of his work.

  10. Me thinks a Communist Revolution would fail, but leave the country like a wasteland and vulnerable to attack.

  11. Check this out, I’d swear it was a ‘Babylon Bee’ parody if I didn’t know any better :

    “Oregon Is On The Verge Of Decriminalizing Heroin, Cocaine, And LSD”

    “Under the new measure, possession of less than 1 gram of heroin or meth, 2 grams of cocaine, 12 grams of psilocybin, 40 doses of LSD, oxycodone or methadone and 1 gram of MDMA would all be decriminalized.”

    It’s going to be a *scream* to see how that plays out in Seattle and Portland… 😉

      • You are correct, but by de-criminalization, that will attract those who use such drugs.

        If it passes, along with streets covered in human shit, potentially-infected hypodermic needles will now be added to the mix…

        • “You are correct, but by de-criminalization, that will attract those who use such drugs.”

          If we want to claim gun control laws don’t work, we have to admit no prohibition laws work, and are thus pointless.

          Some would claim that we don’t have a constitutionally protected right to drugs and/or alcohol. However, the constitution didn’t list all the rights retained by the people, thus the alcohol consumption laws required the people to approve a constitutional amendment granting the central government the power to control alcohol consumption. Likewise, prohibition of drugs require a constitutional amendment to transfer power from the people, through the state legislatures, and onto ratification of such amendment.

          Personally, I would support removing both users and providers of illegal drugs from society (the means are not particularly important), but I keep getting tangled up in that constitution thing.

        • “If we want to claim gun control laws don’t work, we have to admit no prohibition laws work, and are thus pointless.”

          There are some things that shouldn’t be normalized. It leads to the degradation of society.

          • “There are some things that shouldn’t be normalized. It leads to the degradation of society.”

            First, “some things” is open to wide, and antagonistic interpretation.
            Second, no matter the undesireability of an activity, “moral” laws don’t work to prevent/prohibit activity by people bent on conducting that activity (see “common sense gun control” laws).
            Third, “Prohibition” was a failure, for a reason.
            Fourth, if society doesn’t like a certain behavior, then near 100% enforcement of prohibition is required. “We the People” don’t have the stomach for that.

            Gun control laws don’t work; prohibition laws don’t work. Both only punish the law-abiding.

        • Sam, the separation you mention is possible, by making it voluntary. Just check into this facility and enjoy unlimited supplies of chemically pure drugs of your choice, 24/7. Bus stop in front, lines of trenches dug by backhoes in back, no paperwork, no ID, no age limits, racially tolerant, KumBayYaa.

          • “Sam, the separation you mention is possible, by making it voluntary.”

            Not seeing that creating accommodations for buyers and sellers is really “separation”, but more “segmentation”. For this discussion “separation” means a clear divide of one from the other; an insurmountable divide, with no transition between the two.

  12. At the time, Fidel was a hero to most of the US. The previous government was very corrupt and the people did not know Fidel’s real motivation. Even Nixon was fooled until he met with Fidel.
    Just like in The Godfather, many Cubans would do suicide missions because their time was numbered by the old government. Many were useful idiots, but they believed and their children actually had it better than they did.
    I am not defending the Communists, but I am defending the revolution. Sadly, if the US had backed them, we could have had a decent government there.

    • “Sadly, if the US had backed them, we could have had a decent government there.”

      Do you have justification for the assertion?

    • That was never going to happen. The US backed the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, because he was friendly to US interests. The communist revolution never would have even happened without the US backing Batista’s illegitimate government or the fact that the majority of arable Cuban land being owned by Americans.

        • “And those US interests were actually organized crime interests.”

          Isn’t it curious that we have so little information, from actual experience, from people who lived under both Batista and Castro, comparing the two regimes as relates to the “average” person in Cuba? If the victims of the regimes could only choose one existence or another, which would be the majority pick?

          (I don’t know the answer, nor do I have an opinion)

        • One of the tours from Havana was to a sugar plantation established by an American in 1919, I doubt he was a mobster. He had a pretty big operation, probably large profits and holdings, when the Communists took it in 1959 and left him with nothing, as always. Whether he and his family were also killed or not, the tour guide didn’t say, but the plantation was reduced to nothing, just a couple huge smokestacks in the woods where the sugar mill was burned down, and the family’s home, once a mansion and now falling down while used as a “park headquarters” or such crap. Nothing positive has happened in the country since 1959. Concrete is collapsing all over the country, it doesn’t last forever and has had zero upkeep for 60 years. It is a very sad, very frightening, and very necessary trip for every American, to see such a beautiful country so destroyed, while people like Osama and Biden advertise their capacity to convert the US to the same.

    • I am not defending the Communists, but I am defending the revolution. Sadly, if the US had backed them, we could have had a decent government there.>/i>


      From Tad Szulc’s biography of Castro.
      Regarding Fidel’s “democratic” tendencies, I suggest you look at Georgie Ann Geyer’s
      Guerrilla Prince, where she points out that teenage Fidel was a fan of Fascists, be they Spanish, or Italian. Geyer also notes the similarity of Fidel phrasing with some phrases from Hitler and Mussolini. The book is available at Google Books.

  13. Regarding American interests in Cuba, assertions by several commenters, rt66Paul, Southern cross, and VerendusAudeo are not entirely correct.

    Yes, Southern Cross, some interests were controlled by organized crime ( Casinos and gambling for example, but no the largest interests, such tourism, the United Fruit Company, real estate, and banking).

    VerendusAudeo, most of the land in Cuba were owned by Cubans, not Americans; that is a myth propounded by the left, media and academicians.

    rt66Paul writes correctly for most of its post, except for his last statement: “Sadly, if the US had backed them, we could have had a decent government there.” Castro admitted right after the Bay of Pigs that he had been a communist all along; that he would remain Marxist-Leninist until the day he died, and that he intended to do what he did (enforce communism) as soon as he consolidated power and that he had to lie to the Cuban people; otherwise he would not have been able to gain power.

    My sources are: 1. Dagger in the Heart — American Policy Failures in Cuba by Mario Lazo (1968). 2. After Fidel — The Inside Story of Castro’s Regime and Cuba’s Next Leader by Brian Latell (2005) and 3. The same author who wrote this piece, Dr Faria’s Cuba in Revolution —Escape from a lost paradise (2001).

  14. I’m a big fan of Rage Against the Machine and I remember watching the Guerilla Radio music video in high school. I was like whatsup with the red stars and this dudes face in the bass drum? So I googled him and then bought this biography Che Guevara A Revolutionary life by Jason Lee Anderson. It was really interesting I suggest you read It.

    • I “was” a fan of Rage. I despise “Che” and I cringe whenever I see some highschool or college age twit wearing his visage on a t-shirt. Apparently the leftist indoctrination was well at work in college but I was too occupied with other things to notice or care. Having 2-3 jobs at any given time probably helped that.

      I’d never been impressed by Hemingway. I always thought he was a braggart and an asshole. Now I know he was much worse.

      • I hear you, but if I couldn’t separate the art from the artist i would be depriving myself of a lot of things I enjoy.
        Hemingway has written some things i like, buy I always felt like he was trying to hard to prove he was a man. A bit overboard with the macho stuff, and wanted to make sure everybody knew it.

      • With the iconic photo, Che became the Communist Jesus.

        But his end came about trying to start a revolution with people who had no interest in revolution.

        • “But his end came about trying to start a revolution with people who had no interest in revolution.”

          I don’t know where you get your reading material, but Che’ met his end because….Trump.

          Orangeman Bad.

        • yeah, I get where you are going on the orange idiot, the real-life President of the Idiocracy:

          Che was executed by order of the President of Bolivia. Even though the USA wanted him taken to Panama for interrogation. The Bolivians only found him and were able to defeat his forces with the aid of the USA (CIA and US Army Rangers). A drunken Bolivian sergeant volunteered to execute Che, and did so rather sloppily with two bursts from an M2 carbine.

          Che failed completely post-Cuba. Castro did not want him back, but used him for propaganda value. Neither his would-be fellow revolutionaries in the Congo or Bolivia were up to his demanding standards nor he to their lower standards. In the end he failed as a revolutionary, as a communist and as a parent considering all the children he left unsupported in his wake.

          But that’s another story.

  15. He was a typical leftist. Filthy rich and privileged. Much like biden, bernie and the rest of the rich white men trying to lord it over us.

  16. I’d not consider the author’s book at all trustworthy. Even J. Edgar Hoover made personal entries in the file the FBI had on Hemingway that he was not a communist. Hemingway had this thing about underdog causes and fights. He also made it very clear he was never aligned with communists, wasn’t all that political anyway. But he was anti-fascist, once he had seen with his own eyes what those scum were all about.

    Che on the other hand was a damned bloody butcher. Even Castro, no light weight in slaughtering people, had to tell Che to knock off his blood thirst for firing squads. Castro deserved a slow, protracted and agonizing death. For Che, such a death would have been too kind and easy.

    At least Che got killed young. Small gift to the world in that one.

  17. Would that Che’s demise became commonplace in how civilizations dealt with communists.

    • As in dealing with the leaders? The big thinkers? The despots? The dedicated apparatchiks of Evil?

      Could not agree more!

      Of the greater populations, they are victims. Some subjugated, others brainwashed.

  18. Growing up i read everything Hemingway wrote, his biographies and wanted to live an adventurous life similar to his. Nowadays, I see him as an insecure, virtue signally narcicist, in fear of his own sexual identity who would loudly vote Obiden/ Hairass 2020 as a follow up to his previous record voting for the kenyan. Still enjoy a lot of his writing where he fantasized about the man he so deeply longed to be.

  19. The Spanish Civil War was a proxy war between the Nazis (i.e. Germany) and the Communists (i.e. Russia). There were no good guys. Just bad guys and worse guys. It was hard to tell which was which.

    Many honorable and heroic warriors volunteered for the Republican side (almost coincidentally supported by the Communists) because the Nazis were the more imminent threat.

    Several European countries used the Spanish Civil Was to combat test their own armed forces. The Luftwaffe that fought the RAF during the Battle of Britain benefited from its experience in Spain.

  20. “In his book, The Fifth Column: And Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway even confesses to crimes, such as turning former friends over to the Republican (communist) secret police. … During the Spanish Civil War, there was systematic assassination of fellow Republicans, men of the left, such as Dos Passos’ friend, José Robles, and numerous others, including Andres Nin, who were accused of being Trotskyites by Stalin’s NKVD goon squad.”

    author of this article can’t seem to decide whether or not the Republican side is the good side or the bad side.

    • No ad-lib it is confusing because the Republican side is also the loyalist side as well as the communist side. If you have any inconsistency, please show the statement contradicting itself! Normally the Republican side is the good side at least in this country, but not in Spain or in the French Revolution. Please point out any inconsistency. Or it may be you that is the one confused! Thanks.

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