More Miami-Dade Cubans than ever support lifting the embargo and travel sanctions on the island nation, according to a new Florida International University poll that attributes much of the change to new Cuban migrants and younger people.
The poll, which drew swift criticism from embargo supporters, also indicated that about a majority of Cubans in the county might favor full U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations. Less than 50 percent said they send remittances to Cuba or have relatives who do so.
In an unexplained contradiction, however, a majority of Cubans polled also favored keeping the nation on the U.S. list of countries that support international terrorism, a list that carries banking sanctions well beyond those in the U.S. embargo.
Ever since 1991, when FIU first began polling Cubans, support for the embargo has steadily declined by 39 percentage points while support for unrestricted travel has increased 25 points.
“The engine driving change is demographics,” said Guillermo Grenier, who helped conduct the 1,000-respondent survey on behalf of the university’s Cuban Research Institute.
“We are moving into a period of re-Cubanization of Miami,” Grenier said.
Grenier said recent arrivals, who continue to flock to Miami-Dade, increasingly favor improved relations with the island. At the same time, the major backers of the embargo and sanctions -- older Cubans – are decreasing in number. Today, about 860,000 Cubans live in Miami-Dade.
(note, we earlier blogged the first web draft of the above rewritten piece)