Poll: Obama's Favorability Rating in Cuba Is 80 Percent, Fidel's Is Only 44

Obama
Obama
Photo: Pete Souza for the White House

Fidel Castro should be thankful he never really had to run for re-election. A new poll conducted by a Miami polling firm of Cubans (as in actually living in Cuba) finds that his favorably ratings are pretty mediocre on the island. Only 44 percent of Cubans have a positive opinion of El Caballo. Meanwhile, 80 percent of Cubans have a favorable opinion of United State President Barack Obama, which is much higher than his 47 percent approval rating back here in America. 

The poll was conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International for Univision, Fusion, and the Washington Post. They surveyed 1,200 Cubans in mid-March. It is the first privately conducted poll done in Cuba since the country became communist over 50 years ago. So there's no reliable data to compare Fidel's past popularity on the island. 

They found 27 percent said they have a very negative opinion of Fidel, and 23 percent said they had a somewhat negative opinion. Thirty-three percent said they had a somewhat positive opinion, while only 11 percent said they had a very positive opinion of the retired dictator. 6 percent did not answer. 

Current President and Fidel's brother Raul Castro didn't fare much better. The poll found 14 percent had a very negative opinion of him, and 34 percent had a somewhat negative opinion. That's a total negative rate of 48 percent. Meanwhile, 39 percent said they had a somewhat positive opinion, while just 8 percent have a very positive opinion, totaling up to a total of 47 percent who have a positive opinion. Though, it appears that Raul causes much less extreme feelings than his brother does amongst the Cuban public. 

Fidel's popularity is not ablaze.
Fidel's popularity is not ablaze.
Illustration: Ryan Wood

Obama meanwhile is almost universally beloved. Of the 80 percent who have a positive opinion of Obama, 34 percent said it was very positive. Only 2 percent said they had a very negative opinion of Obama. 

The poll discovered 89 percent of Cubans also said they believe Obama should visit the country, while only 5 percent thought he should not. 

What's even more interesting is that 53 percent of Cubans believe that America is a friend of Cuba, despite years and years and years of anti-American propaganda on the island. Just 10 percent said America was not a Friend of Cuba. The rest either said neither or were unsure. 

Meanwhile, 55 percent of Cubans said they'd like to live in another country, with 52 percent of that group saying their preferred country would be America. 

So there are a lot of Cubans who love Obama and want to move to America. Maybe there are some other reasons why Republicans are so against the idea of normalizing relations with the country. 


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