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US Survey: Majority of Americans View Renewed Cuba Links Favorably

Back-dropped by the monument to revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, U.S. President Barack Obama greets members of his delegation after laying a wreath at the Jose Marti monument in Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, March 21, 2016.

A new U.S. survey shows a majority of Americans have a favorable view of renewed links with Cuba after five decades of hostilities between the two countries.

The New York Times/CBS News poll showed Monday that 62 percent of U.S. citizens believe that reopening business and cultural ties between the countries would be mostly good for the United States.

But the survey said that only 40 percent think the new overtures between the U.S. and Cuba, the island nation that lies 145 kilometers off the southeastern U.S. shoreline, will lead to more democracy in the Caribbean country.

Half said they thought it would not make much difference.

Overall, nearly six in 10 Americans favor the renewed diplomatic ties the two countries announced in late 2014 and most favor ending the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

The poll, conducted earlier this month before U.S. President Barack Obama headed to Cuba for a three-day state visit, showed that a slim majority, 52 percent, approved of his handling of relations with the communist country.

That figure was up from 44 percent recorded in December 2014, just after the two countries announced they were resuming diplomatic ties.

Obama met Monday with Cuban President Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel Castro who seized power in the 1959 revolution that overthrew the U.S.-supported dictator, Fulgencio Batista, and later turned authority over to Raul as his health declined.

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