News / USA

    Poll: Majority of Cuban Americans Support Loosening Sanctions

    FILE - People listen to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, standing bottom right, during a conference at the auditorium of the University in Havana, Cuba, May 29, 2014.
    FILE - People listen to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue, standing bottom right, during a conference at the auditorium of the University in Havana, Cuba, May 29, 2014.
    Reuters
    A survey of Cuban Americans in Miami shows eroding support for hardline Cold War-era policies adopted by the United States against Cuba, with a majority willing to accept closer ties with the communist-ruled island.
     
    The poll, released on Tuesday by Florida International University, found that 52 percent of 1,000 Cuban Americans surveyed in Miami-Dade County oppose continuing the five-decades-old trade embargo against Cuba, though that drops to 49 percent among registered U.S. voters.
     
    An even greater majority - 68 percent - favor diplomatic relations with Cuba.
     
    A similar number - 69 percent - favor lifting travel restrictions to Cuba for all Americans, according to the poll, which had a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Current policy allows visits to the island only under tightly controlled licenses for cultural and academic tours.
     
    The results highlight the shift among members of the Cuban exile community who fled the island nation to the United States to escape the rise of communism in the 1960s and shows opinions have grown far less monolithic due to demographic changes.
     
    The survey was funded by the Trimpa Group, a Democratic-leaning consulting firm based in Denver that promotes social change, and Open Society Foundations, which funds public policy causes founded by billionaire investor, George Soros.
     
    Guillermo Grenier, a sociology professor at the university who helped lead the survey, said the findings could prompt the Obama administration to further revise its U.S.-Cuba policy by permitting greater travel and commercial activity to help an emerging private sector.
     
    “There's no reason to fear political backlash any more over Cuba policy,” he told Reuters in an interview.
     
    The Cuban American community in the United States, numbering between 1.8 and 2.2 million, has traditionally been a highly effective political lobby to block efforts to lift the embargo.
     
    Conducted between February and May as part of a periodic survey of Cuban Americans dating back to 1991, the poll found that younger exiles who left Cuba more recently were more favorable to changing policy than those who came in the 1960s.
     
    “The trends are clear,” Grenier said, noting that older exiles were dying while 20,000 new Cubans arrive in the United States every year under a migration accord with Cuba.
     
    For example only 8 percent of younger Cuban Americans ages 18 to 29 support continuing the embargo, compared to 60 percent of those ages 65 and older, the poll showed. In 1991, 87 percent of those surveyed backed the embargo compared to 48 percent now.
     
    Still, the latest figures found that a majority of Cuban Americans - 63 percent - support keeping Cuba on the United States' annual list of state sponsors of terrorism, along with Iran, Syria and Sudan.
     
    Asked if they would vote for a candidate who advocated replacing the embargo with support for private businesses in Cuba, 57 percent of registered voters said yes.
     
    A larger majority - 81 percent - of registered voters said they would support a candidate who advocated replacing the embargo with a policy that increased pressure on the Cuban government over human rights.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora