Tags: Castro-Cuba | Polls | cuba | normalization | castro | miami

US-born Cubans Most Open to Ties With Havana

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 11:11 AM

A deep generational and cultural split has enveloped Florida's Cuban-American community in its reaction to President Barack Obama's "new approach" to relations with Cuba's communist government, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Castro regime remains anathema to older Cuban-Americans, who saw their families torn apart and their loved ones imprisoned or killed by the regime, during a bitter conflict that has lasted more than half a century.

But many of the new arrivals are economic migrants with relatives in Cuba who stand to benefit from loosened restrictions on travel and financial transactions.

Today, many Cubans based in Miami who did not experience the trauma of exile during the 1950s and '60s believe that a softer U.S. approach could allow a freer flow of ideas and commerce across the Straits of Florida.

"I think that the first step needed to happen, and Obama took it," said Roberto Ramos, 50, founder and president of the Cuba Ocha Art and Research Center in Miami's "Little Havana" district.

"No president before did that, and Fidel Castro never did it," said Ramos, who came to the United States in 1992 in a stranded boat that was rescued by the Coast Guard.

The divide is reflected in a poll taken after Obama's announcement of the restoration of U.S.-Cuba relations by the Miami-based research group Bendixen &Amandi International.

Among the 400 Cuban-American respondents, the 48 percent who supported the president's move were dominated by younger, U.S.-born people, while older, Cuban-born respondents dominated the 44 percent who opposed Obama's move.

Andres Conde, a 46-year-old Cuban-American artist in Miami, vows that he will not return to his homeland until it becomes a free democracy.

He told the Journal his father had been a political prisoner who served time in a labor camp before his family escaped Cuba. He believes that Cuba will inevitably change as Raul and Fidel Castro, both ailing and in their 80s, are replaced by new leaders.

"Fidel and his brother are not going to last forever," Conde said.

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A deep generational and cultural split has enveloped Florida's Cuban-American community in its reaction to President Barack Obama's "new approach" to relations with Cuba's communist government, The Wall Street Journal reported.
cuba, normalization, castro, miami
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2015-11-07
Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 11:11 AM
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