With news that the United States will work toward re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and easing the embargo, there is already talk about the reaction in the Cuban-American community.
In political terms, this is a major voting bloc in the hugely important swing state of Florida.
The assumption is that Cuban-Americans support punitive policies against Havana, but over the years, polls show that attitude has changed significantly, even among older emigres.
As we reported back in June, most Cuban-Americans oppose the embargo.
Florida International University in Miami has been polling Cuban-Americans since 1991. Back then, 87 percent of Cuban-Americans supported the embargo, but after President Obama was elected in 2008, that shifted completely. For the first time in the poll’s history, most Cuban-Americans said they disapproved of the U.S. embargo.
By 2011, that Obama effect had disappeared, Professor Guillermo J. Grenier, a co-principal investigator of the FIU Cuba Poll, told us. But in the 2014 poll, conducted this summer, a majority once again favored lifting the embargo.
— 68 percent of respondents favor restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba.
— Among younger respondents, 90 percent of respondents favor restoring diplomatic ties.
— When you include only registered voters, 51 percent of them support continuing the embargo.
— 69 percent of all respondents favor the lifting of travel restrictions impeding all Americans from traveling to Cuba.
— 53 percent of respondents said they would be likely to vote for a “candidate for political office who supported the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.”
— A large majority — 71 percent — responded that the U.S. embargo of Cuba has not worked at all or has not worked very well.