The Castle
Acrylic on canvas – 24" x 18"

While in Havana, it seemed to us that a police presence was on every corner. In fact, along the the Miramar, one man was accosted by a policeman simply because he wasn't wearing a shirt within the city boundaries.

Crime rates in Cuba seems to remain significantly lower than many other major cities worldwide, with Cuban police acting strongly against any crime, particularly in Havana. Petty theft, however, is a problem. According to our guide, Ibrahim, many people steal for petty cash. Most needs are taken care of by the government, but people will steal to purchase alcohol or small luxuries they can't afford.

As shown in the painting, "The Castle," stray dogs are abundant in Havana. In fact, more than 20,000 strays can be found on the streets of Cuban cities. In Cuba, most canines have a stable home, but "because of their owners' lack of responsibility they spend most of the day out on the streets," says Nora García, president of the non-governmental Cuban Association for the Protection of Animals and Plants (Aniplant).

George H. Rothacker - Havana '59 - Moko Jumbie

Painting: Price on request (
Print: $65 +tax and shipping

The dogs do have street smarts. While passing the cigar factory in Havana, we noticed a dog walking by us on three legs, the other tucked up as if injured. As he moved past us, he dropped his paw and resumed his walk on four legs without as much as a limp.