By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Americans are split over whether or not to lift the embargo against Cuba, with 36 percent favoring the move and 35 percent opposing, according to the Rasmussen polling group. But what I also find interesting is a third figure: 29 percent don't quite know what to do. It seems to me that this is a good sign for those of us who favor normalizing relations with the tiny communist country, because it presumably indicates that fully 3 in 10 Americans just don't care about Cuba. Lift the embargo? Keep the embargo? Excuse me—I've got real issues to worry about.
And that's good, because our current Cuba policy treats the country in a manner wildly disproportionate from its strategic place in this hemisphere. We treat Cuba as is if it is a peer or serious adversary, when its geopolitical relevance as a threat is completely anachronistic. This seems to be about in line with the number of people who follow news of Cuba. About 38 percent follow it not very closely or not at all, while 58 percent follow it somewhat or very closely.
Another good data point: 46 percent of independents favor lifting the embargo, which is a plurality in that category and is also a larger number than even among Democrats (38 percent). Among Republicans, however, a clear majority (58 percent) oppose lifting the embargo. So to put it another way: Independents are ahead of Democrats on favoring a policy change that Republicans oppose. I like the way those numbers are adding up.
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