Americans Are Really Behind This Whole Cuba Thing

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday showed the American public supports normalizing relations with Cuba, the island nation 90 miles south of Florida that has been under a U.S. embargo for the last fifty-four years. The position has been gaining in popularity in recent years, but this is the first poll taken since President Barack Obama’s surprise détente last week.

The poll found 64% of respondents favored reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba, statistically similar to the support five years ago. But the poll revealed a growing number support lifting the trade embargo (68%, up 11 points from 2009) and ending travel restrictions (74%, up 19).

Florida has been home to a rigid anti-Castro community since 1959, who have pressed the case against lifting the embargo, efforts that resulted in the Helms Burton Act of 1996, which codified the embargo into law. However younger Cubans and especially newer Cuban immigrants have been less hardline about the embargo, though they still oppose the Castro family.

The poll found Republicans significantly more in favor of ending the embargo than they were in 2009, though still divided over establishing diplomatic ties. For an enactment of that divide, see the scuffle between Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY) last week.

[h/t Washington Post]

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