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Cuba celebrates 50th anniversary of Hemingway-Castro meet

Havana: Cuban citizens at a small coastal village near the capital city of Havana are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a meeting between former president Fidel Castro and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway.

American author Hemingway (1899-1961) had met Castro May 15, 1960, in Cojimar village, where fans of both the icons gathered this week to pay homage. The celebrations will conclude Saturday at the Hemingway Marina, the place where Castro and the novelist had met during a fishing tournament.

Cojimar was the setting for Hemingway`s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel "The Old Man and the Sea". A Hemingway statue was erected here in 1962.

That was the only "known meeting" between Castro and Hemingway. Later, the former Cuban president was quoted in a book of interviews - "Cien horas con Fidel" (100 Hours with Fidel) - as saying that he had met the author on another occasion, though he did not reveal the location, said Ada Rosa Alfonso, director of the Hemingway Museum in Cuba.

"Fidel was not exactly a fisherman" and so his participation in the tournament was "a way of showing Hemingway his goodwill" and telling him that he was welcome in Cuba following the 1959 revolution that brought Castro to power, Alfonso said.

"They were two great men who admired each other," she said, adding that details about the relationship between Castro and the 1954 Nobel Prize winner have still not been clarified.

Hemingway left Finca Vigia, the home near Havana where he had lived since 1939, and went to New York July 25, 1960. The house has since been turned into a museum where more than 22,000 of Hemingway`s books, photos, hunting trophies, weapons and other personal objects are preserved.

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