Thursday, May 26, 2016

How the Real Obama Met the Real Pánfilo

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A new video [see] from the White House offers a behind-the-scenes look at President Obama’s real-life appearance on the popular Cuban comedy show, Vivir del Cuento. While a reoccurring skit from the program involves the lead character, Pánfilo, calling President Obama to discuss life in Cuba, it was not until Obama’s visit to the island nation in March 2016 that comedy met reality. In an effort to maximize Obama’s visibility in Cuba, the U.S. Embassy in Cuba and the White House arranged for President Obama to “visit” Pánfilo’s house and introduce himself as a person to the Cuban people. As one of Obama’s advisers explains, “Part of public diplomacy in this day and age is trying to meet people where they are, and where they are is watching Pánfilo. For all the history that has divided us…the fact that we can laugh together sends an important message that we’re really not all that different.”  

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