This year marks the sixteenth anniversary of the
FIU Cuba Poll. Eight times since 1991 FIU researchers from the Center for
Labor Research and Studies, the Institute for Public Opinion Research and the
Cuban Research Institute have developed and conducted a detailed survey designed
to measure the political attitudes of the Cuban-American community in
The first Cuba Poll was conducted 13 years ago, in
March of 1991. Subsequent polls were conducted in October of 1991, in
June of 1993, March of 1995, July of 1997,
September-October of 2000 and March, 2004. As in the seven previous
polls, the researchers this year found a diversity of opinions regarding the
policies that the respondents felt would facilitate political changes on the
island. The data presents us with the most complete picture to date of the
attitudes of Cuban-Americans in South Florida towards
Cuban American residents of Miami-Dade County are generally concerned about the need for change on the island but they are far from monolithic in their support for different policies regarding US/Cuba relations. There are major differences of opinion on many issues.
· In spite
of the recent occurrences on the island, the Cuban-American community is
guarded in its expectation of major political change occurring in the
near future. Approximately 17.0 percent of
respondents feel that changes will occur
within one year (5% more than expected immediate change in the 2004 poll). An additional 46 percent anticipate that major changes are more than one year but less than five years
away. At the same time, pessimism regarding eventual
· Approximately 65
percent of respondents signal that they would support a dialogue with the Cuban government, up from 55.6 percent
in the 2004
· Although only 23.6% feel that the embargo has worked well, 57.5 percent of the Cuban-American population expressed support for its continuation. The percentage of the respondents supporting the embargo declined from 66 percent in the 2004 poll. In fact, this is the lowest percentage of the population ever expressing support for the embargo.
· Respondents have specific requirements triggering the lifting of the U.S. embargo. Approximately 29 percent of respondents would like to put and end to the embargo immediately without any preconditions. Another 8 percent would end the embargo upon the death of Fidel. About 11 percent would wait until both Fidel and Raul were gone. Approximately 6 percent would wait until the economic system changes on the island (without any changes to the political system) occurred on the island while 10 percent would wait until democratic changes occurred (without economic changes). Finally, about 35% would wait until both the economic system and political system had changed.
· When asked about the specific
restrictions imposed by the embargo, the respondents' opinions appear
somewhat more moderate than might be anticipated in light of the numbers
voicing overall support for the embargo. Approximately 71.7
percent support the sale of medicine to the people on the island and 62 percent would favor the sale of food to
· Approximately 64 percent of the respondents would like to return to the 2003 policies governing travel and remittances.
· 26 percent of the respondents feel that the restrictions put in place after 2003 have had a major impact on their lives. Over 15 percent report having been effected moderately by the new regulations.
· Approximately 58 percent of the respondents report sending money to relatives on the island.
· Approximately 57.2 percent would support establishing diplomatic relations with the island.
· Echoing the results of
the previous surveys, the Cuban-American community is willing to lend support
to human rights groups working inside
· Approximately 15.6 percent would be very likely and 13.1% somewhat likely to return to live on the island if the country's government changed to a democratic form.
· There were no surprises associated with the political
affiliations reported by the respondents, although the number of Republican
registrants continues to drop. About 65
percent of the respondents are
· Of those respondents not citizens, 89 percent say that they plan to become citizens.