Under Obama, Cuban Americans anticipate change in US policy towards Cuba

January 25th, 2009 - 7:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Jan.25 (ANI): Many Cuban-Americans are anticipating a change in policy toward their homeland during the tenure of the Barack Obama administration.
Obama has won more than one-third of Florida’’s Cuban-American vote in November, a voter base that in the past has favored Republican presidential candidates by margins of more than 80 percent.
During months of stumping in the Sunshine State, Obama promised that as president he would drop increasingly unpopular Bush administration restrictions on travel to Cuba for Cuban-Americans and allow them to send unlimited remittances to the communist-run island.
“Popular support for the [Bush] policy toward Cuba is diminishing,” the Washington Times quoted Brian Latell, a senior research associate at the University of Miami’’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, as saying.
Beyond lifting restrictions put in place by the Bush administration in 2004 that limit travel by Cuban-Americans to Cuba to once every three years, a majority of Cuban-Americans also wants the U.S. trade and investment embargo — now in its 47th year — to be removed.
According to a poll last month by Florida International University, 55 percent of Florida’’s Cuban-Americans are against continuing the embargo. The poll said 65 percent want the United States to re-establish diplomatic ties with the island, regardless of its leadership.
The results mark the first time since the poll was conducted in 1991 that a majority of the 900,000 Cuban-Americans in Florida advocate completely abandoning the embargo. (ANI)

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