Hispanic attitudes on Cuba varies

Florida Atlantic University survey finds higher-income Hispanics favor change

By Bruce Hamilton - The Morning Show anchor
Patrick Oppmann/CNN

Secretary of State John Kerry attended a ceremony in Havana on Aug. 14 to raise the flag above the U.S. Embassy for the first time in 54 years. Get up to speed on the last five decades of American foreign policy toward Cuba.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hispanics earning the highest incomes were most likely to support lifting the U.S. embargo with Cuba and were most optimistic that it would lead to regime change, according to the latest survey conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative in the College of Business.

Overall, Hispanics support lifting the embargo, with 43 percent in favor, 24 percent opposed and 33 percent undecided. Among those earning under $25,000, 24.1 percent opposed the embargo.

Opposition to the embargo rises to 41.9 percent of those earning $25,000 to $75,000, while 67.8 percent earning more than$75,000 opposed it. Highest income earners also were most optimistic that lifting the embargo would lead to regime change (64.5 percent).

A majority of all Hispanics surveyed (73 percent) were in favor of re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and in favor of unrestricted travel to Cuba (61 percent).

Overall, expanding trade with Cuba was favored by 68 percent of respondents, including 87.1 percent of highest income earners ($75,000-plus). Republicans are most likely to visit Cuba (56.8 percent), while only 38.5 percent of Democrats said they are likely to visit.

"A plausible explanation for the support of high income earners to lift the embargo could be the vision of investing in Cuba," said Monica Escaleras, director of BEPI. "Young respondents as well as high-income earners might see lucrative opportunities, perhaps opening businesses in Cuba."

The Cuba poll was part of a monthly survey by BEPI of consumer optimism among Hispanics, which rose to a new high of 100.69, up from 86.4 in December, the highest level since FAU started calculating the index in August 2014.

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