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Enrique Santos on pranking Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez

Larry King NowMay 29 '17

Radio host Enrique Santos explains how he managed to prank both Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro on the air, and the less-than-diplomatic exchange he and Castro had.

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Larry King: Wait a minute. You made a prank call to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez?

Enrique Santos: Correct.

Larry King: Hugo Chavez I knew. What do you mean “prank call”? What did you do? It was on the air?

Enrique Santos:It was on the air. When I left police work in the early 2000s, I had a segment that was called ‘Fidel Te Llama.’ So it was Fidel Castro’s voice, but in little snippets, and I used to take that, those snippets, and call people in Cuba, and convince them we had the dictator on the line. And it was just hysterical to hear people’s responses. And we took those snippets and we called Palacio de Miraflores in Caracas, Venezuela, and pranked Hugo Chavez. From the recording of Hugo Chavez, we took those snippets and then returned the phone call to Fidel Castro.

Larry King: You got right through?

Enrique Santos: Right through. Well, it was more complicated to get through to Chavez. It was easier actually to get through to Fidel. When I told Hugo Chavez that it was a prank call, he just stayed quiet, said nothing. The next day, I forgot what the title was, something to do with the communications guy or whatever his title was, they came out and they acknowledged they had been pranked by a radio station in Miami and they were investigating to see if any pranks had been committed or whatnot. And then six months to the day almost, after a lot of people insisting that we call, even though I thought it was going to be impossible, because they were buddies and they were communicating, we got Fidel Castro on the line. And when I told Fidel it was a prank, he let me have it. He just went off and said every-

Larry King: What was going on before you told him it was a prank?

Enrique Santos: For a moment there, I think it was channeled by my grandparents, and my parents, and the Cuban tragedy, so much separation and devastation, and so many people that have trying to get to freedom.

Larry King: So you wanted to get mad at him.

Enrique Santos: I let him have it. I told him that he was an assassin. He told me a bunch of other stuff, and said nice things about my mother.

Larry King: Jesus.

Enrique Santos: Amongst other things.

Larry King: Wow I would have gone the other way, faked him out a little and then done that.

Enrique Santos: Well that’s what we did. We faked him, got him on, and then I let him have it at the end. Now that I replay and I listen to the call, I say, “Wow, maybe I could have used that opportunity to have a more serious conversation with-”

Larry King: You know what his dying words were?

Enrique Santos: No.

Larry King: Get Enrique Santos.

Enrique Santos: [Chuckles] Oh please don’t say that Larry.

Larry King: Watch new episodes of ‘Larry King Now’ Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on demand on Ora TV and Hulu.