Cuba – 2003 – The university

We went to the University of Havana today. It is a large complex and there are many bright students here, I am sure of that.

We went to an art classroom and saw many large impressive paintings that the art students had done. They were excellent. Obviously they are a talented group.

As we looked around, one couldn’t help but notice that most of the light fixtures were gone. They had been taken and used elsewhere for some reason and never replaced. We saw this all over Havana. Even toilet seats were removed from what public bathrooms we came into contact with. It’s a mystery, or is it.

We have been to several countries with the same system of government and the main, common component is shortages of everything. Look at Venezuela. A once rich nation has been destroyed in a few years and it will take generations to rebuild it.

It was the same in Romania. Giant Russian styled buildings made of substandard concrete. A lot of the cement stolen from the job site going to the black market again, perhaps. The buildings are built and then left crumbling after just a few years. Good concrete gets stronger with time, not weaker.

This painting below was at a university art class and was in large format, perhaps five or six feet square.