Luis Silva ‘Panfilo’ says no to repression and Cuban TV takes off the air ‘Live from the story’
The Cuban television comedy program Vivir del tale has been off the air since the July 11 protests. The popular space led by actor Luis Silva, who plays the character of Pánfilo, is not immune to criticism of the Cuban reality , which is present both in the program space and on its social networks.
But in the wake of the July 11 protests, Silva very seriously condemned the violent response of the repressive forces of the Cuban regime, which beat peaceful protesters without distinguishing whether they were young people, almost children, older adults or women.
“No repression, no beatings,” Silva asked on his Instagram profile two days after the protests. “I want peace and prosperity for all Cubans, that everyone’s thoughts be respected.”
The comedian also stated that “his position was on the side of the Cuban people,” an attitude taken by many artists on the island, who wrote letters, made public statements or resigned from official institutions in protest of the government’s reprisals against protesters.
Then, as a strange coincidence, they took Vivir from the story off the air after Silva’s comment, which caused alarm and suspicion in the multiple followers of the space, which puts a touch of joy in the daily hardships of the Cuban.
Living from the story, due to its controversial nature of “playing with the chain but not with the monkey”, as they say on the island when the fact is criticized but not the person responsible, is not alien to censorship. In 2019, they censored an episode that included a joke about a crocodile-shaped bread.
“You cannot mention the crocodile, the hutía, or the ostrich. The worst thing is that this episode had been recorded since January, ”Silva wrote on his social networks.
In those days, some comments by Commander Guillermo García Frías, head of the National Company for the Protection of Flora and Fauna, in the official program The Round Table , left the population speechless. García Frías assured that an ostrich produced more meat than a cow and that the meat of jutía, an endemic rodent of Cuba, is the one with the highest protein content.
But the most obvious episode of censorship against Vivir del tale was the expulsion of actor Andy Vázquez , who had popularized characters such as the bureaucrat “Facundo”, for recording a video in which he made fun of the failed opening of the recently restored Cuatro Caminos market , in 2019.
The recent airing of Vivir del tale has fallen so badly on the population that Cuban television was forced to publish an informative note about what is happening with that and other programs that are not being broadcast. And the blame was borne by “the situation”, which already carries almost as much weight on its shoulders as the US embargo, which the government uses as a justification for any crisis situation.
This is part of the explanation shared by the Cubavisión Facebook page.
“The situations that the country has gone through during the first weeks of summer have led to adjustments to the channel’s programming that have affected the airing of spaces such as: Vivir del Cuento, El Humor se Piensa, De la Gran Sitio, Al Talk to the Dead, Danzoneando, Together but not Scrambled, Teleavances and Canción Contigo.
“All these spaces are still part of the grid of our channel and work is being done to minimize these effects.”
The truth is that Silva’s criticisms of the repression did not fall into a vacuum. On his Instagram page alone, he has more than 500,000 followers and he is also an artist with international reach since he shared a humorous sketch with President Obama before his historic trip to the island in 2016.