Finca Vigia, Ernest Hemingway’s Havana home, is a grand reminder of Cuba’s past and its love for the famous American author. It’s about to undergo a major restoration — a project made possible, in part, by warming diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
“Ernest Hemingway is really something that unites them," Hemingway’s grandson, John, told VOA by Skype from Spain. "He is apolitical. He is for the Cuban people. He is very much an American writer. He is the perfect bridge between the two countries.”
President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro began rebuilding that bridge when they met at the Summit of the Americas in April. Since then, a sense of anticipation has been building on the island nation, and among many Cubans living in the U.S.
Marc Hanson from the Washington Office on Latin America said the change was long overdue.
“Our Cuban policy has run counter to our values for quite some time," he said. "Younger people don’t get it. Most people don’t get it. And even in the Cuban-American community, what we’re seeing now is that they increasingly don’t think it’s the right strategy going forward.”
Although opposition continues in the U.S. Congress to lifting the decades-long economic embargo, mainly because of human rights concerns, American companies are already seeking ways to do business with Cuba.
John Hemingway, a frequent visitor to the island, said the Cubans are ready.
“They want change. They want a normal life," he said. "This is something they are very anxious about. They want it. They are really looking forward to seeing change, to a kind of liberalization in relations and enjoying the kind of normality that other countries have."