While some leftists in the United States have slammed the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba following country-wide anti-government protests on the island, most Americans think communism is to blame for the Cuba’s problems, according to a Rasmussen poll released Wednesday.
The survey asked likely U.S. voters “which is more to blame for the current problems in Cuba, the policies of the communist government there or the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba?” Fifty-nine percent of voters said the communist government is at fault. Only 20 percent blamed the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba while 21 percent were not sure.
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets in more than 40 municipalities last week demanding the end of Fidel Castro’s 62-year communist regime. Protesters were caught on camera yelling slogans like “down with communism,” “they [the regime] must leave,” and “fuck Díaz-Canel!” among other anti-government statements. Notably, protesters were seen cloaked in American flags, embracing the United States rather than condemning it for its alleged embargo.
“Voters who blame Communism for Cuba’s problems more than the U.S. economic embargo are most likely to have followed news about the protests in the Caribbean island nation,” according to the poll report.
Seventy-three percent of voters who blame communism for Cuba’s problems said they have followed news about the protests in Cuba very closely. Echoing the respondents paying close attention, Republicans were more likely to blame communism than Democrats were.
Sixty-seven percent of Republicans, 49 percent of Democrats, and 61 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party said the policies of the communist government in Cuba are responsible for the island’s ills.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blamed the “absurdly cruel” U.S. embargo of Cuba last week for the nation’s turmoil, mirroring a statement from Black Lives Matter (BLM). BLM praised Cuba’s communist regime while also condemning U.S. government sanctions and asserting Cubans have chosen their own government.
When asked, “should refugees from Cuba be allowed into the United States?” 59 percent of Democrats said yes compared to 48 percent of Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Overall, 52 percent of voters said refugees from Cuba should be allowed into the United States, while just 28 percent said the U.S. shouldn’t admit Cuban refugees. Twenty percent 20 percent were not sure.
The Biden administration warned Cuban refugees that they will be turned away if they flee to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also threatened to arrest, incarcerate, impose excessive fines, and even take the vessels of boaters who help U.S.-bound Cubans flee the repression and economic suffering at the hands of the island nation’s communist regime.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration relaxed security at the U.S.-Mexico border — “revoking most of his predecessor’s measures — which Republicans and other critics blame for the record surge of migrants reaching the United States from the south in recent months,” Breitbart News reported. Now, most Cubans seeking to enter the U.S. have to sneak across the border or claim asylum once they reach an official port of entry like many other Latin Americans.
Many Cubans in the United States have strongly identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party for decades.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on July 15 and 18, 2021. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.