Poll: Americans Back Warmer Relationship With Cuba

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An overwhelming majority of Americans support ending the U.S. economic embargo with Cuba, but among Republicans there is a nearly even split on the issue, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

The poll found that 60 percent of Americans want the economic embargo to end while 35 percent want to see it continue. When it comes to re-establishing full diplomatic relations, however, the support wanes. Just 45 percent support of re-establishing diplomatic ties, 15 percent oppose doing so and 37 percent took no view.

Among Republicans, 34 percent want diplomatic relations, with 30 percent opposed. Forty-nine percent want the embargo lifted, with 50 percent saying it should stay.

Self-identified Democrats overwhelmingly favor restoring embassies and eliminating the U.S. embargo, which only Congress can revoke.

President Barack Obama announced in December steps that would be taken administratively to improve the U.S. relationship with Cuba, including easing some travel and spending restrictions and opening talks on re-establishing embassies in the two countries. Congress held its first hearing on the issue Tuesday.

The AP-GfK Poll of 1,045 adults was conducted online Jan. 29-Feb. 2, using a sample drawn from GfK's probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


_ The Associated Press