Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Marco Rubio’s Cold War Approach to Cuba Is Losing Him Voters

Polls show that most Cuban Americans favor warming ties between the two countries.


Every year since 1991, Florida International University has surveyed Cuban Americans' attitudes on US-Cuba policy. The most recent poll, taken in 2014, reveals that those who took to Miami's streets in December 2014 to protest the US restoring relations with Cuba are in the minority: 52 percent of poll respondents oppose continuing the embargo, and 68 percent favor the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. More than 70 percent say the embargo has worked poorly. How Cuban Americans of different ages responded reveals a stark generational split: A majority of those aged 65 and older still favor the embargo, but two-thirds of those aged 18 to 29 oppose it. Nearly 90 percent of millennial Cuban Americans favor reestablishing ties too.

For the 43-year-old Rubio, who is trying to brand himself as a new generation of Republican, this could be a problem. According to Guillermo Grenier, a Cuban studies expert at FIU, Rubio's Cuba policy "doesn't have legs" for the future. "People are changing. Rubio's position will resonate among a certain percentage of the population—a shrinking percentage." The younger generation, Grenier says, "say things like, 'How can Rubio be against the embargo—doesn't he know it hurts Cubans on the island?'"

Source: Mother Jones

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