Survey supports need for change in Cuba policy

February 11, 2014

On this page, we have previously criticized the ongoing trade embargo of Cuba, a musty relic from the chilliest days of the Cold War that has succeeded in neither cleansing the island nation of communism, nor deposing the increasingly enfeebled dictatorship of the Castro brothers.

Now, according to an new poll, a majority of Americans agree.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that a survey conducted under the aegis of the Washington, D.C.-based Atlantic Council found 56 percent of those who responded nationally said they favor lifting the embargo against Cuba, which has prevented American companies from doing business or making investments there and has also restricted travel. That number increases to 62 percent among Latinos across the country, and 63 percent of adults in Florida, the state that contains the largest Cuban-American population. Clearly, maintaining the embargo, particularly in light of our relationship with China, seems pointless and counterproductive. It will be 52 years in October since the Cuban Missile Crisis, the nadir of relations between the two countries. Continuing an obdurately hostile posture against Havana seems more a product of inertia than statecraft, and appeasing the dwindling number of Cuban-American emigres who cling to the fantasy they will be able to return to Cuba and reclaim land or property that they, or their families, lost in the 1959 revolution.

The Times noted that “American policy aimed at ostracizing Cuba is widely viewed around the world as an irrelevant throwback to the Cold War era,” and that the European Union has embarked on negotiations with Cuba to boost trade and investment.

Though we are reluctant to put great stock in polls, or suggest that we be governed by them, this is one survey policymakers would do well to study and promptly act upon.



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