Cuba’s Jacobo Londres Entertains from Puerto Rico

By Lynn Cruz

HAVANA TIMES – A friend shared a video in a WhatsApp group. Who is he? I asked, in a fit of laughter after what I had just watched. “Javier Marimon,” she told me.  Marimon is a writer and poet, born in Matanzas in 1975.  I had heard about him, as I had lived in Matanzas myself.

One of the few times we saw each other was at the Book fair in Havana’s La Cabana. Marimon and a childhood friend, Carlos A. Garcia, were directing each other looking for the best offers. They took advantage of the stroll to show each other the gems they had picked up.

Jacobo Londres / Photo: Paolo De Facebul / El Estornudo

So, my reencounter with Marimon was also a stroke of luck, and through his character Jacobo Londres. Imagine a guy ranting about the Heraclitus river and lines for chicken, in a video uploaded onto Facebook.

In recent months, the Cuban people have experienced the worse shortages that are only comparable with the crisis of the dark 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Bloc.

When I went onto his page, I realized that he had lots of episodes. I was surprised to discover that Jacobo Londres was a series. They are filmed, edited and made with homemade visual effects, by Paolo de Facebul.

If seemed like cuts in frames were done deliberately, like an intermission or a kind of interference that comes to Jacobo during his eloquent and delirious speeches.

It’s worth mentioning the music that liven up these videos, as well as Marimon’s charisma and ability to improvise who confessed that he had only written two episodes before going live.

It’s also done in a very casual way, in fact, the script itself prepares you to watch a video which is more of a promise of what it could be, rather than what it is. 

Jacobo introduces himself as a butcher that works in Varadero, talking about philosophy, who is a film critic, or talks about his own personal problems. This series of intellectual humor is also a parody of the massification of Cuban culture.

However, I don’t believe that Marimon is interested in dealing just with a Cuban audience. In fact, there are some episodes such as “Prince George vs. the evil reporter,” for example, in which he analyzes a classist video where a TV host is forced to publicly withdraw a statement that had upset the British royals.

There’s an episode about how to make a cooking program, but about bad food. Theory classes about how to ride a bike. A commercial that Jacobo wants and doesn’t want to go live which reminds us of the Cuban people’s maladjustment, who have been living abused by the State and when they stand up to their owner they let all of their rage out, as if they were taking revenge.

Jacobo mocks the stances of some academics and how having this label makes your opinions hold some weight.

Appropriating his own spirit and with this invasion on all of his channels, I get the feeling that a Caribbean joker has hacked social media. Making its debut on May 1st 2020, this Jacobo series appeared in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown.  Jacobo Londres is streamed on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

Ever since the French Revolution up until the Cuban Revolution with its abstract creation of economics, political science and the memory of a line to buy coffee cake, a typical desert which people like him and me enjoyed in our childhood, during the Soviet era.

When I talked to him very briefly on Messenger, Marimon had already posted a total of 150 episodes. I recently received the news that El Estornudo had offered him a column, where the audience could also read about Jacobo.

The series was broadcasting an episode once a day, in the beginning, but this has now changed. For those who want to watch them as soon as they drop, they can watch them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Above are the links to all of his social media profiles and here is one of the episodes I liked the most.