When Castro Won a Hemingway-Sponsored Fishing Tournament in May 1960

In 1939, Ernest Hemingway purchased a home in Cuba, ten miles from Havana, in the village San Francisco de Paula. The “Finca Vigía” (the “lookout house”) was a place of retreat. It was there where he wrote seven of his books, including “The Old Man and the Sea”. Despite living on and off in Cuba for twenty years, Hemingway was not really interested in the revolution against Batista, nor did he ever get involved with Castro and his cause.

Fidel Castro brought his fishing partner with him, the Economic Commissar and fellow revolutionary, Ché Guevara.

In 1950, three years before Fidel Castro’s revolution began, Hemingway founded a fishing tournament to entertain his friends who visited the island. On July 26, 1959 the Cuban rebels finally ousted President Fulgencio Batista and replaced his government with a revolutionary socialist state. Almost a year later, in May 1960, Hemingway was to celebrate his fishing tournament’s tenth anniversary and thought it would be a good idea to invite Cuba’s new leader, Fidel Castro to the event.

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Castro and Hemingway – source: Alberto Korda

It was then, when the iconic American novelist met the charismatic Cuban revolutionary for the first and only time. Fidel Castro brought his fishing partner with him, the Economic Commissar and fellow revolutionary, Ché Guevara.

Fidel_Castro_and_Che_Guevara_marlin_fishing_off_the_coast_of_Cuba_in_1960
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara of the Coast of Cuba – source: Alberto Korda

Castro’s personal photographer, Alberto Korda took the pictures of the event which Fidel Castro ultimately won, even though it was his first time fishing.

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Fidel Castro and Che Guevara- source: Alberto Korda
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Che Guevara taking pictures – source: Alberto Korda

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