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US Public’s Opinion of Cuba Reaches 20-Year Highest Level – Gallup Survey

© REUTERS / StringerA man stands near the national flags of the US and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first U.S. congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by US President Barack Obama on December 17, in HavanaA man stands near the national flags of the US and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first US congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by US President Barack Obama on December 17, in Havana
A man stands near the national flags of the US and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first U.S. congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by US President Barack Obama on December 17, in HavanaA man stands near the national flags of the US and Cuba (R) on the balcony of a hotel being used by the first US congressional delegation to Cuba since the change of policy announced by US President Barack Obama on December 17, in Havana - Sputnik International
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Americans now view Cuba more favorably than they have in nearly 20 years.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US public opinion toward Cuba is currently more favorable than it has been in nearly two decades, likely as a result of US President Barack Obama’s decision to improve relations with the island nation, according to a Gallup survey report released on Thursday.

“Americans now view Cuba more favorably than they have in nearly 20 years,” Gallup’s report said. “Forty-six percent say they have a favorable opinion of Cuba, up eight percentage points from last year, and a far cry from the 10% favorability rating in 1996.”

The survey was the first of its kind published by Gallup since Obama announced in December his intention to normalize bilateral relations with Cuba, and ease travel restrictions between the two countries.

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“That [Obama] announcement is presumably the chief reason for the surge in positive feelings toward Cuba, with the president's action probably making it more acceptable to like Cuba,” the report said.

A small majority of US citizens still have an unfavorable view of Cuba, according to the survey, which was conducted earlier this month among 837 adults in all fifty US states and the District of Columbia.

However, 59 percent of US citizens want their government to end its long-running trade embargo against Cuba, compared to 29 percent who want it to continue, according to Gallup.

Most have wanted the US government to normalize diplomatic ties with Cuba for more than 40 years, with a brief exception in the late 1990s when the US Congress passed a law tightening the embargo.

The United States has been hostile toward Cuba’s government since the 1959 communist revolution. The UN general assembly has voted against the US embargo for 23 consecutive years, according to the UN.

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