Poll: Most Americans Support Lifting Embargo Against Cuba

Image: Poll: Most Americans Support Lifting Embargo Against Cuba Tourists travel in a taxi in Havana on Jan. 8.

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2014 08:51 AM

By Courtney Coren

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The United States has had a trade embargo against Cuba for more than 50 years, but according to the latest survey, a majority of Americans favor normalizing relations with the Communist regime.

In the poll commissioned by the Atlantic Council released Tuesday, 56 percent of Americans nationwide support changing the U.S. policy on Cuba. Among Floridians, that number goes up to 63 percent and 62 percent for Latinos overall nationwide.

The poll was conducted by the bipartisan team of Democratic strategist Paul Maslin and Republican strategist Glen Bolger. It sampled 1,024 American adults selected randomly Jan. 7-22 in both English and Spanish. It had an oversampling of 617 Floridians and 525 Latinos. The margin of error was +/- 3.1 percent.

While Democrats support the policy change more than Republicans, 52 percent of Republicans also said they would support normalizing relations with Cuba.

"This survey shows that the majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle are ready for a policy shift," writes Director Peter Schechter and Deputy Director Jason Marczak of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

"More surprisingly, Floridians are even more supportive than an already supportive nation to incrementally or fully change course," they add. "This is a key change from the past: Cuba used to be intractable because Florida was intractable. This poll argues that is no longer true."

More than 60 percent of Americans support lifting all economic restrictions so that Americans are able to do business in Cuba, removing travel restrictions to the country and allowing Americans to spend money in Cuba.

More than 60 percent also said Cuba does not belong on the list of countries that the United States designates as sponsors of terrorism, which also includes Sudan, Syria and Iran, saying that they do not believe Cuba poses the same risk to the nation as the other countries.

President Barack Obama said in November that it is time for the United States "to continue to update our policies" toward Cuba.  Obama has lifted some restrictions on Cuban-Americans by allowing them to travel and send money to the country more easily.

The embargo began in 1962, after Fidel Castro took power of Cuba in a 1959 revolution and took control of properties owned by the United States.

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