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Public Opinion and Cuba

Conservative and Republican opinion on Cuba policy is divided.

A new Pew survey of American public opinion regarding U.S.-Cuba relations confirms that there continues to be broad support for normalization and trade:

Most Favor Renewed Diplomatic Relations With Cuba, End to Embargo

Republicans are far more likely to disapprove of normalization and oppose the lifting of the embargo, but the party is split fairly evenly down the middle on both questions. There is a little more Republican support for ending the embargo (47%) than there is for normalizing relations (40%):

Republicans Ideologically Divided Over Restoring U.S. Ties with Cuba

As we can see, those that identify as conservative Republicans are most likely to oppose both moves, but even among conservatives there are large constituencies that favor normalization and an end to the embargo. Conservative and Republican opinion on these questions is far from monolithic, and the most hard-line Republican members of Congress don’t speak for their entire party on this issue.

While they support renewed ties and increased trade, most Americans also have realistic expectations about political change in Cuba  in the near future. 60% assume that Cuba will remain more or less the same politically. 32% expect at least some measure of democratization:

Will Cuba Become More Democratic?

Republicans are the most skeptical that there will be any democratization in Cuba (24%), but even here there is some expectation that the opening to Cuba will cause the political system there to change.



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