Published On: Wed, Jun 18th, 2014

Clinton proposal to lift Cuba embargo to be canvassed

HillaryClinton_2326613bMIAMI, USA - The Journal Jersey has launched a survey with the question: “Do you agree with Hillary Clinton that US Cuban embargo should end?” planning to announce the results on Saturday.

The New Jersey-based online publication noted that, in an appearance in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, the former secretary of state said, "I think we should advocate for the end of the embargo. We should advocate for normalizing relations and see what they (Cuban officials) do."

The publication also explained that the economic embargo of Cuba has been enforced for over half a century now, while major US presidential candidates have trodden carefully in discussing the lifting of the US policy on Cuba for fear of alienating voters in the state of Florida.

According to the Journal Jersey, Clinton believes that the younger generation of Cuban Americans will not go against her for having suggested that Washington should lift the Cuban embargo.

Meanwhile, a Florida International University (FIU) poll released on Tuesday indicates that Cuban Americans in Miami would welcome changes in US relations with Cuba, while they still support some elements of current US policy.

Most respondents of the 2014 FIU Cuba Poll expressed strong support for increased contact between US citizens, including Cuban Americans, and the Cuban people. A large majority – 68 percent – favours re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba, while 69 percent supports the lifting of travel restrictions.

"We are witnessing a clear demographic shift with younger and more recently arrived Cubans favouring a change in policy toward the island," said Professor Guillermo Grenier, one of the co-principal investigators of the FIU Cuba Poll, which has been conducted every few years since 1991.

Cuban Americans are just about equally split on their support for the US embargo on Cuba, the centerpiece of US policy toward the island nation. Seventy-one percent said the embargo is not working at all or not very well.

Among all respondents, 52 percent oppose continuing the embargo. Among registered voters, 51 percent favor continuing the embargo. Support for continuing the embargo is strongest among Republican registered voters. In 1991 overall support for the embargo was at 87 percent.

Since 1959, when Fidel Castro's regime took power in Cuba, Miami-Dade County in South Florida has become home to almost 900,000 Cuban exiles and their American-born children. The earliest wave of exiles traditionally registered as Republican and are strong supporters of the US embargo. Currently, seven members of Congress are Cuban American; four of them are Republicans.

The 2014 Cuba Poll surveyed 1,000 randomly selected Cuban Americans living in Miami-Dade County. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent. Other key results from the FIU Cuba Poll include:

• 63 percent of Cuban Americans believe that Cuba should remain on the State Department's list of countries designated as sponsors of terrorism. The other countries on that list are Iran, Sudan and Syria.

• 81 percent of registered voters would likely vote for a candidate who supports replacing the embargo with a policy that increases support for human rights in Cuba.

• 45 percent of registered voters said they voted for Mitt Romney, while 34 percent voted for Barack Obama in the presidential elections of 2012.

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