In a stunning turn around, a new poll from Miami firm Bendixen & Associates shows that a strong majority of Cuban Americans now support open travel to Cuba for all U.S. citizens.
Fifty-nine percent support opening travel to all, while only 29 percent still oppose it. That's a turn around from a 2002 Bendixen poll that showed 47 percent of Cuban Americans oppose open travel, with 46 percent supporting it.
"What is most surprising is that this shift in Cuban American public opinion is being driven mainly by the older, 'historic exile' segment of the community, which has traditionally only supported confrontational policies toward the Cuban regime," said Sergio Bendixen, President of Bendixen & Associates, in a statement.
Indeed, 48 percent of Cubans who arrived in the U.S. prior to 1980 support it, while only 36 percent oppose. In 2002, a strong 64 percent majority of early Cuban exiles opposed lifting the travel ban. Sixty-nine percent of Cubans who arrived after 1980 support open travel, again a noticeable change from 54 percent in 2002.
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The poll conducted in late September by telephone of 400 Cuban Americans throughout the country has a margin of error of +/- 5 percent.