A new survey by Miami pollster Sergio Bendixen suggests what he calls a "seismic shift in public opinion" among Cuban Americans regarding travel to Cuba for Americans.
According to the CubaTravelPoll conducted in September, a "strong majority" – 59 percent – of Cuban Americans support travel to Cuba for all Americans, while only 29 percent oppose such a change in policy.
"What is most surprising is that this shift in Cuban American public opinion is being driven mainly by the older, ‘historic exile’ segment of the community, which has traditionally only supported confrontational policies toward the Cuban regime," said Bendixen, president of Bendixen & Associates. The national poll involved 400 Cuban Americans and carries a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
The poll is sure to fuel the debate over congressional efforts to lift the travel ban. President Barack Obama eased travel restrictions on Cuban Americans earlier this year, but stopped short of allowing those without family to travel there. Congressional critics say such travel would only benefit the Castro regime, but Bendixen argues that the poll suggests the " 'political mindset' of the Cuban American community is now changing at an accelerated rate."