Posted on Wednesday, 03.03.10
A new poll finds no clamor for change in U.S. Cuba policy
A new poll found that there is little clamor for change in the U.S.
embargo on Cuba.
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
Forty percent of Americans say the Cuba embargo should remain in place
while 36 percent want it ended, and nearly half say they wouldn't visit
the island even if allowed, according to a BBC/Harris Poll released Tuesday.
Nearly three in 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama's gestures
toward Cuba have not been enough, 35 percent believe they went far
enough and 10 percent say they went too far, the poll showed.
The survey came as Congress considers several proposals to ease U.S.
sanctions on Havana, including allowing unrestricted U.S. travel to the
island and making it easier for Cuba to buy U.S. agricultural products.
Harris Interactive said it surveyed 2,050 American adults online Jan.
13-15 for itself and the British Broadcasting Corp. Harris said it
doesn't report margins of error because they can be misleading.
While 23 percent of Americans said the Cuban government was an enemy of
Washington, 63 percent said Havana is unfriendly but not an enemy, 12
percent said Cuba is a friend but not an ally and 2 percent believe
Havana is “a close ally,'' the poll showed.
Recalling the Bay of Pigs and missile crisis confrontations in the
1960s, the poll showed older Americans tend to hold more negative views
than younger Americans. Thirty-five percent of those 55 and older
believe Cuba is an enemy, while only 10 percent of those aged 18-34 agree.
“Fifty years is a long time, but these findings suggest that at least
for older people, memories of the Cuban Missile crisis last. Attitudes
on many issues on Cuba are very different depending on if one is over or
under 55 years old,'' Harris Interactive said.
“One issue that is also splitting Americans is the embargo, as two in
five (40 percent) say the embargo towards Cuba should remain in effect
and 36 percent say it should not,'' the company added.
“It's interesting that the Harris survey mirrors a lot of the dynamics
we're seeing within the Cuban American community — no mandate for a
change in [U.S.] policy,'' said Fernand Amandi of Bendixen & Amandi, a
Miami-based firm that regularly polls Cuban Americans.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed said it was too early to restore
normal relations with Cuba and 38 percent disagreed, while 75 percent
said the U.S. relationship with the island is important and 25 percent
said it's not.
Nearly 50 percent said Obama should visit the island at some point in
his presidency, while 25 percent said maybe he should visit after Fidel
Castro dies and 26 percent said never, the poll showed.
A new poll finds no clamor for change in U.S. Cuba policy – Cuba –
MiamiHerald.com (3 March 2010)