2020 FIU Cuba Poll

Much has changed in the narrative shaping U.S./Cuba policy during the administration of President Donald J. Trump. The policy shifts initiated by President Obama in 2014 have all but disappeared. Old hostilities, dating to the Cold War period, now dominate relations between the two neighbors.

Two FIU Cuba Polls have been conducted since Trump’s inauguration. The trend measured in the 2018 Poll of a community hardening its isolationist views have continued in this 2020 FIU Cuba Poll. The community’s attitudes reflect those of the administration. Relations between the two countries since the last poll have not followed the path of engagement. While the community still supports quite a few engagement policies that it holds out as “carrots,” the overall tendency is to establish a stronger hold on the “stick” that promotes sanctions and isolation.

The findings of the poll suggest that there is a return to traditional hard-line views toward U.S.- Cuban relations. While political and social engagement policies still have proponents, support for the wielding of the “stick” of the embargo—the economic isolation of Cuba from the U.S. economy—has increased among Cuban Americans as a whole. The second and third generations of Cuban Americans are driving the hope for engagement while more established residents insist on a tougher stand. The return to hard-line views might be driven by the slow pace of change on the island, or the hostile national narrative that currently surrounds U.S./Cuba relations in the United States. Whatever the reason, the demographics of the Cuban-American community in South Florida continue to change while many of their attitudes directed at the state-to-state relations between the U.S. and their homeland remain conflicted.