Castro’s embassy (euphemized as “Interest Section”) in Washington D.C. will soon open an in-house “invitation-only” nightclub named “Hemingway’s Bar.” The news comes courtesy of The Atlantic Magazine—the same Atlantic that a year ago smugly predicted Communism’s immediate end in Cuba. Fidel Castro himself had vouchsafed the scoop to a smug Atlantic editor visiting his fiefdom at the time. Townhall patiently explained the stupidity of believing such a claim.
For the record, during the year following The Atlantic’s “scoop,” Castro’s regime has arrested double the number of anti-communists dissidents as during the year of the “scoop.”
“I plan to go and will want a Hemingway Daiquiri,” smirks the Atlantic magazine’s senior editor Steve Clemons regarding the upcoming Hemingway’s Bar, “double the rum, and no sugar.” (All drinks will be on the house, actually. Buying from Castro’s regime remains illegal in the U.S.)
That Cuba’s Stalinist regime names a bar after a KGB agent who accompanied a beaming Che Guevara while watching his beloved firing squads murder hundreds of men and boys seems fitting. That the Atlantic magazine’s senior editor should smugly anticipate an invitation to the Stalinist regime’s exclusive bar also seems fitting. That he plans to order its namesake “Hemingway Daiquiri,” must fill Atlantic readers with vicarious smugness.
“More McCarthyite rubbish from this Cuba-exile kook!” snarl liberals.
Well, according to KGB defector Alexander Vassiliev in a book published by Yale Univ. Press (not exactly a branch of the John Birch Society), “the 42-year-old Hemingway was recruited (by the KGB) under the cover name “Argo” in 1941 and cooperated with Soviet agents whom he met in Havana and London.”
“So what’s this stuff about Hemingway delighting in watching firing squads?” snarl liberals.
Well, as commander of Havana’s La Cabana prison and execution yard, Che Guevara often shattered the skull of the convulsed man (or boy) by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, Che consoled himself by viewing the slaughter. His second-story office in La Cabana had a section of wall torn out to better view his darling firing-squads at work, often in the company of distinguished friends. Havana resident Ernest Hemingway was one of these.
Accounts of “Pappa’s” presence at these massacres comes courtesy of Hemingway’s own friend, the late George Plimpton, editor of the Paris Review, not exactly a “right-wing scandal sheet.”
After whooping up the Reds in Spain Hemingway whooped up the Reds in Cuba. "Castro's revolution," Hemingway wrote in 1960 “is very pure and beautiful. I'm encouraged by it. The Cuban people now have a decent chance for the first time." Pappa's sometime friend John Dos Passos said Hemingway "had one of the shrewdest heads for unmasking political pretensions I've ever run into."
Shortly after his encomium to Castroism, Pappa got a brand new bag: his Finca Vigia outside Havana was stolen by his heroes. So he started spending more time in the U.S.—as befit a dashing WWII hero. During the war, Hemingway, that champion of the people's cause, that pikeman in the holy crusade against fascism, wasn't about to let the severe gas rationing of the time interfere with his fishing. So he convinced the U.S. government that he wasn't so much fishing from his yacht, Pilar, off Cuba, as he was hunting Nazi submarines.
Oh, he might occasionally troll a few lines behind it but he was actually defending allied shipping against those marauding U-boats dispatched from afar by the wicked Hun. FDR saw to it that Hemingway got 160 gallons of gasoline a week and a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on his yacht.
And I bet he had a blast with that machine gun. Picture that boatload of sloppy drunkards staggering around the decks of Pilar off Cuba. "Hey Manolo!" Ernest would shout from the bridge. "Is that a periscope over there?... Looks like one!..."
"Ah yes, Ernesto!" Manolo slurs after spilling half a bottle of red wine on his shirt. "Sure does....might be a school of dolphin though."
"Can't be too careful, Manolo!" He growls while jerking back the carrier..."just like them Krauts to disguise themselves as Dolphins – RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!!..."EEEEEE! HAAAH! Lookit 'em run!" Eat lead you Nazi swine! – RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT-TAT!!
"Hey, I wanna turn, Ernesto! Come on! You're hogging the gun!"
"I'm WHAT?!...WHAT!?" He sways and looks down crosseyed, his hands still on the gun..."What was...? – Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat – plink-plink-plink – poooft! poooft! bang! pow!!poooft! poooft!! plink!
"Hey WATCHIT! MAN – -WATCHIT!" Manolo and the crew jump overboard just ahead of the flames that erupt as ole Dead-Eye Ernesto splinters the deck and blasts the engine with a surprise burst. "COWARDS!" Pappa howls while shaking his fist at his chums bobbing in the waves. "Candy As**s!. What the hell am I doin out here with this buncha lily-livered Maricones!"
Yes sir, over in Berlin, Admiral Doenitz must have sprouted six ulcers agonizing over this new and deadly threat to his submarine fleet.
There were hints that shortly before his suicide Hemingway's crush on Fidel Castro and Che Guevara had started to ebb. Was it when several thousand Cubans in his province were dragged from their homes, tethered to stakes, and riddled by firing squads?
Heck, no. That was Hemingway's "necessary murder," the kind his heroes in For Whom the Bells Toll performed ritually. No, it started ebbing when old Ernesto found that this "pure and beautiful" revolution made it difficult for him to repair the pump on his Cuban estate's swimming pool.
That sort of thing will sour parlor Pinkos on a revolution every time.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.