A strong majority of Americans – and an even greater percentage of Floridians – support normalizing relations with Cuba, according to a poll released on Tuesday by the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank.
In an apparent boost to efforts to end the half-century-old economic embargo against Cuba, the poll found that 56 percent of respondents nationally favored changing U.S. Cuba policy, a number that rose to 63 percent when just counting Florida residents.
Supporters of the embargo said the poll was…blah, blah, blah…and said it was unlikely to have any impact in Washington. They got the last part right.
The poll comes on the back of a series of surprise political announcements in recent days that could challenge longstanding U.S. policy towards the communist-run island.
On Friday, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who is running for the office again in November – this time as a Democrat – said in a TV interview that he supports lifting the embargo.
Also last week, Alfonso Fanjul, a wealthy Cuban American sugar baron in Florida and a major political donor, spoke publicly for the first time about trips he has made to the island in an interview with the Washington Post, and his interest one day in investing there.
The poll, conducted by a Republican and a Democratic pollster, found that only 35 percent of Americans, and 30 percent of Floridians, opposed improving ties with Cuba.
I hope folks don’t presume there’s anything about US foreign policy based on enlightened self-interest. Self-interest, perhaps, for Exxon-Mobil, reactionary politicians stroking their money base, and, of course, participants in the corporate welfare division of the military-industrial complex.
Meanwhile, Europeans, Asians, Latin-Americans spend their own tourist gold in Cuba.