Ever the good sport, the U.S. President even spoke Spanish in the televised clip. On the eve of his first official state visit to Cuba, U.S. President Barack Obama received a highly important phone call from one of the Caribbean island’s most influential figures.
No, not revolutionary leaders Fidel or Raul Castro, but Panfilo, a character in a hugely popular comedy show, “Vivir del cuento”, on Television Cubana.
In the three-and-a-half minute video, Obama answers the phone to Panfilo, confirming that the elderly man has reached the White House.
“I can’t believe it! The real White House!” the comedian says, clutching a retro-looking phone.
“Oh my God, I’m talking to President Obama!”
Ever the good sport, Obama asks the comedian if he is indeed speaking to the real Panfilo, “from the TV show?”
Like a true Cuban, Obama asks in Spanish, “Que bola?” (“What’s up?”)
Panfilo goes on to give Obama some friendly advice, “don’t come with heavy luggage or you will get stuck at the airport,” and offers to find a car to pick him up, and even says Obama and his wife Michelle can stay in his bed.
But, he warns, the first lady would “have to sleep on the side next to the chest of drawers so she can sleep well.”
“The other side of the bed has a spring that sticks out and bothers me when I sleep,” he adds.
The historic new relations between Cuba and the U.S. could prove to ease the full-court press the U.S. has maintained against Cuba. Cuba has suffered under a blockade, invasion, sabotage, terror and destabilization campaigns led by the U.S.
In light of this, Cuba insists that in order for the normalization of relations between the two countries, the U.S. must end the 55-year-old blockade; return the illegally-held Guantanamo Bay; change its immigration policies toward Cuban migrants; stop transmitting radio propaganda into the country and attempting to build an opposition; and finally stop all attempts at regime change.
This is not the first time that Obama has taken part in a comedy skit. In 2014 the president was interviewed by Zach Galifianakis in the comedian’s parody show Between Two Ferns.
“Sorry I had to cancel a few times, my mousepad broke,” The Hangover actor tells a deadpan Obama.
Then the next President will have a full show for cubans?