Forward to the Past


Original Size: 36in x 24in


The name of this painting is a spoof on the movie “Back to the Future” because a cuban once said to me that the regime is driving time backwards, they are back to plowing with oxen and primitive living conditions, especially in rural areas like Pinar Del Rio.

This painting depicts a scene in the Valley of Vinales, located in Pinar Del Rio province, this is the primary tobacco and sugar cane growing region of Cuba. There are very few cars in this region of Cuba and the main mode of transportation are horses, horse wagons and a two wheeled type of horse chariot they call Aranas. 

The farmers of this region in fact live much like a farmer of the mid 1800’s so therefore I believe that the communist government is running some kind of backward evolution where they expect and promote for people to do things in primitive ways and the longer communist dictatorships are in power the more backward they will become.

The scene could be taken today and it still appears that way and yet there is nothing and no farming method shown that did not exist in the seventeenth century. Cuba is 40 years behind in technology and that is even worse in rural areas. In rural areas there is little electricity, running water is rare, cell phones exist but are very expensive and minutes are high priced and poor reception is the normal. The few people who have televisions mostly use the old box type televisions from the 90’s and the 3 channels they get with primitive antennas are all government propaganda stations that blame every failure of the government on the United States. When I was last there I watched their news show called “El Noticiero” and they blamed the United States for their lack of rain and said that they had proof that the United States created COVID to ruin the economy of Cuba. Unfortunately there is a small percentage of people who believe the party line and spew it back to you no matter how ridiculous it sounds.

Most Cubans are hardworking and manage to survive in harsh conditions and many are dissatisfied with the government but happy in their lives and make the best of things.  It is not quite so bad to be poor if everyone else around you is also poor.

Back to the lack of technology, in most houses hot water is heated on the stove and buckets are the normal way to bathe, porcelain toilets do not have seats or any flush mechanisms, toilets are flushed by pouring a bucket of water directly into the bowl and the sewage runs directly to the outside of the house.  Maybe in another 20 years they’ll be back to outhouses as Cuba moves Forward to the Past.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 36 × 2 × 24 in


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