HAVANA: On the eve of his visit to Cuba, US President Barack Obama cracked jokes Saturday with the communist country’s most loved comedian in a surprise exchange broadcast online.
In the three and a half minute video sketch released on the Facebook page of the US embassy in Havana, comedian Panfilo acted out calling the White House and asking to speak to Obama.
“This is President Obama.”
“Oh my God I’m talking with Obama,” the star struck comedian says.
“Yes the real Obama. Who’s this?” the president deadpans.
“I’m Panfilo from Cuba.”
“The real Panfilo — from the TV show?”
“From the TV show. He knows me!”
“No way, how are you?” the president replies in Spanish this time, using Cuban slang.
“I’m so glad you’ll come to visit,” Panfilo says, adding advice that the president not bring heavy luggage “or you’ll get stuck at the airport.”
Panfilo is a character embodied by the actor Luis Silva, whose weekly program onCubavision “Vivir del cuento” is unusually breezy and often bitingly humorous by the standards of Cuban airwaves.
The skit was part of the build up to the first visit by a US president to Cuba in 88 years and a landmark step in ending a tense standoff between the neighbors that dates back to the overthrow by Fidel Castro of a US-backed government in 1959. AFP