U.S. Latinos were found to have mixed views on the Cuban embargo, but the difference in opinion could depend on an individual’s income.
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) polled Latinos about lifting the embargo. Polling results found Latinos with high incomes were most likely to support lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba with the concept it would lead to regime change.
While 33 percent of Latinos were undecided about lifting the embargo, 43 percent of Latinos were in favor of the embargo’s removal, and 24 percent wanted the embargo in place.
Latinos with an income below $25,000 opposed the embargo with 24.1 percent. As income levels increased, so did opposition to the embargo. Latinos with income levels between $25,000 and $75,000 were responsible for 41.9 percent of lifting the embargo. Latinos earning more than $75,000 hit 67.8 percent in favor of the embargo’s removal. The higher-income earners, with 64.5 percent, were most optimistic about a Cuban regime change once the embargo lifts.
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“A plausible explanation for the support of high income earners to lift the embargo could be the vision of investing in Cuba,” said BEPI Director Monica Escaleras. “Young respondents as well as high-income earners might see lucrative opportunities, perhaps opening businesses in Cuba.”
Most Latinos participating in the BEPI survey were in favor of normalizing diplomatic relations between U.S. and Cuba, with 73 percent, while 61 percent favored unrestricted travel to the island. Expanding trade opportunities was also popular with 68 percent of the Latino survey respondents, but the aforementioned percentage increased to 87.1 percent among the highest-income earners with $75,000 or more.
“I think what that illustrates is that there’s a large portion of the Hispanic community that’s open to starting to fix the relations. Diplomatic relations is sort of a first step,” said Florida Atlantic University political scientist Kevin Wagner, via the Sun Sentinel. “I think they just want to take it one step at a time.”
FAU’s polling date comes as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and a coalition of congressional Democrats visited Cuba to “advance” the building diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama,” Pelosi said in a statement released by her office on Tuesday. “This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade.”
Pelosi and the Democrats’ final day in Cuba was Friday after meeting with civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, religious leaders and First Vice President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel.
“Our delegation expressed hope that Cuba will incorporate members of civil society in its delegation to the April 2015 Summit of the Americas and underscored the importance of respect for human rights,” said Pelosi in a statement on Friday. “Vice President Diaz-Canel called for the lifting of the embargo and removal of Cuba from the States Sponsors of Terrorism list. Overall, the Members of our delegation viewed the meeting as positive, respectful, and hopeful for our two nations.”
President Barack Obama and Cuba President Raul Castro announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries on Dec. 17, 2014.
FAU’s BEPI poll was conducted during its monthly survey of consumer optimism among Latinos, which reached a new peak of 100.69 percent, an increase from 86.4 percent in December. The survey was conducted between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31 with 500 Latinos participating.
–Courtesy of Latin Post