Pew Survey Shows Most U.S. Citizens Support Relations with Cuba

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HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 24 (acn) Seven out of every 10 U.S. citizens support the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

As reported on the Web site of this U.S. organization, the opinion poll, conducted last week among citizens around the country, reveals that an equal number, seven out of every ten, are in favor of lifting the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the island.

Compared with data from a similar Pew survey held in January, there was a considerable increase in support for the change of policy towards Cuba, when 63 percent of those surveyed by Pew said it supports the announcements made on December 17 and 66 percent was in favor of lifting the blockade.

After 54 years, six months and 17 days, the governments of Havana and Washington reestablished diplomatic relations on July 20, and the Cuban embassy was reopened in the U.S. capital.

Meanwhile, in Havana, the ceremony to hoist the U.S. flag on its legation will take place on August 14, as confirmed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a press conference this week.

The public support of U.S. citizens to resume relations with Cuba was majority, regardless of political affiliation.

The Pew survey shows an increase in support from U.S. political parties to the process of rapprochement between the two nations: 56 percent of Republicans approve the reestablishment of relations, a 16 percent increase since January.

Also, eight out of every 10 Democrats support the new policy of President Barack Obama, as does 75 percent of independents, an increase from nine and eight percent, respectively.

Also, 59 percent of Republicans supported the end of the blockade, something done only by four out of every ten in that party in January.

Among Democrats, however, 82 percent is in favor of lifting the economic, commercial and financial blockade, a measure that depends entirely on the Congress.

The need to lift the blockade was among the outstanding issues mentioned by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez during his two-day visit to Washington, referring to the new stage that now opens towards normalization of bilateral relations.

Although Obama has asked Congress to initiate a serious debate to put an end to that unilateral measure that has been in force for more than five decades, the issue is not on the congressional agenda, nor on that of the House of Representatives or the Senate, dominated by the Republicans.

By demographic groups, Hispanics are the most supportive of the resumption of diplomatic bonds with Cuba, with 75 percent in favor, an opinion shared by 72 percent of white and 68 of African-American persons, according to Pew.

The Pew Research Center, a think tank based in Washington DC, provides information on issues, attitudes and trends characterizing the United States and the world.

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