MIAMI, Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 70 percent of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County support the U.S. decision to open diplomatic relations with Cuba and a strong majority (63 percent) oppose the U.S. embargo of the island nation.
The results of this year's FIU Cuba Poll – the longest running research project measuring Cuban-American public opinion – reveal a major shift in Cuban-American attitudes toward U.S.-Cuba relations. Support for the embargo has steadily declined among Cuban-Americans in the Miami area – from an average of 84 percent in the 1990s to just 37 percent this year.
"This poll shows that members of the Cuban diaspora in Miami-Dade have diverse views about how they would like the U.S. government to deal with the Cuban state,'' said Guillermo J. Grenier, one of the poll's principal investigators, along with Hugh Gladwin, both professors in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. "The majority support at least some elements of the new course now being charted.''
The shift reflects the changing demographics of the Cuban-American community in Miami-Dade, with younger and second-generation Cuban-Americans and more recent arrivals to the U.S. more likely to express a pro-engagement attitude than older exiles and those arriving before 1980.
"Cubans who left the island in the last two decades and those born in the United States are more supportive of increasing U.S.-Cuba engagement than those who left immediately after the revolution,'' said Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban Research Institute, which cosponsored the polling initiative, along with the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center.
The 2016 Cuba Poll was conducted by telephone between July 11 and August 12, 2016 using a random sample of 1,000 Cuban-American residents of Miami-Dade County, age 18 and over, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. Interviews were conducted in Spanish or English, depending on the respondents' preference. FIU funds were used to conduct the poll.
In addition to supporting increased diplomatic ties with Cuba, a large majority of Cuban-Americans favor lifting travel restrictions to Cuba, while more than half support increased economic activity between the two nations, including liberalization of private investment in Cuba.
When asked about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, more than 35 percent said they would vote for Donald Trump, while 31 percent expressed support for Hilary Clinton. More than a quarter of respondents (28 percent) said they would not vote for either candidate or were undecided.
Despite the substantial support for Trump, the Republican Party's hold on Cuban-American voters in Miami-Dade has steadily declined since the poll began – from 70 percent in the early 1990s to just over half of respondents this year. Twenty-two percent indicated they are registered Democrats and the number of registered independents stands at 25 percent.
The poll also asked about the Cuban Adjustment Act. This law stipulates that Cuban citizens and their accompanying spouses and children are immediately eligible to receive federal public assistance and can become permanent residents of the U.S. one year after arriving in the country.Sixty-five percent of respondents support changes in the Cuban Adjustment Act, requiring Cuban entrants to provide proof of political persecution before becoming eligible for government assistance.
For poll results:https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2016-cuba-poll.pdf.
About the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs:
The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs brings together many of FIU's internationally oriented disciplines to provide cutting-edge research, first-rate teaching and innovative training necessary for the globalized world of the 21st century. One of the largest schools of its kind in the world, the Green School enrolls more than 7,200 students, 31 percent of whom are international, and employs 200 full-time faculty. It offers 38 degree programs, 35 certificate programs and has eight signature departments: Criminal Justice, Economics, Global and Sociocultural Studies, History, Modern Languages, Politics and International Relations, Public Administration and Religious Studies. It houses 22 of the university's most prominent international centers, institutes and programs.
About the Cuban Research Institute:
Cuban Research Institute (CRI) is dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about Cuba and Cuban Americans. The institute encourages original research and interdisciplinary teaching, organizes extracurricular activities, collaborates with other academic units working in Cuban and Cuban-American studies, and promotes the development of library holdings and collections on Cuba and its diaspora. Founded in 1991, CRI is the nation's premier center for research and academic programs on Cuban and Cuban-American issues. No other U.S. university surpasses FIU in the number of professors and students of Cuban origin.
Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a "R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity" and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in fields such as business, engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida's anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy and is ranked second in Florida in Forbes Magazine's "America's Best Employers" list. FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission with multiple state-of-the-art research facilities including the Wall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU's Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
SOURCE Florida International University