I found an article in the Hemingway Review written by Andrew Feldman and published in the Fall 2011 edition of the journal entitled “Leopoldina Rodríguez: Hemingway’s Cuban Lover?”
EMH was friends with and used the services of prostitutes when he lived in Cuba. EMH had nicknames for people (besides for himself) and he was friends with two prostitutes. One of these women he nicknamed Xenophobia because she only liked Cubans. Her friend, called Leopoldina, was an older, more sophisticated woman who was a long-term friend and lover of EMH.
Feldman begins his article by reminding the readers that EMH’s biographers never really wrote about this aspect of EMH’s Cuban life most likely due to the US/Cuba situation at the time, besides the language difference. Therefore, the biographers did not interview many Cubans. Feldman also lets his readers know he talked to Leopoldina’s niece, Ilse Bulit, a journalist for Cuban radio.
From the Hemingway Review:
Leopoldina could never attain happiness, but more than with any other, with Hemingway she had known friendship, a comforting, tender, and attentive, and often paternal relationship. She was the only woman allowed to enter the Floridita without an escort, and this small privilege she owed to her friendship with Hemingway. (Serpa quoted in Páporov 56)
Leopoldina’s niece, Cuban journalist Ilse Bulit, confirms the duration and depth of their relationship. Bulit reports that Hemingway visited her aunt regularly, gave Leo a regular allowance, and for more than a decade paid the rent of her apartment in the Astral building on Old Havana’s Calle Infanta (SEMlac Partes I, II). Born in 1941, Bulit remembers Hemingway’s constant presence during her childhood spent in her aunt’s apartment throughout the 1940s and 1950s:
Leopoldina, a fine-featured, dark-skinned young lady, became Hemingway’s lover for many years. The truth is that he never left her for another woman. Hemingway loved Leopoldina, held her very dear to his heart. He paid for her apartment on Calle Infanta and never abandoned her financially even during her long and painful cancer, which eventually took her life. (Bohemia 13).