Well, the poll finally came out, and the hard-liners are scrambling like it was a Godzilla. Yesterday, the Florida International University (FIU) publicly released its occasional Cuba Poll, and some of its findings indicate a growing and unbearable trend: Cuban-Americans are beginning to oppose US policy towards Cuba!
FIU has been polling Cuban-Americans in the Miami area since 1991. And, every once in while they release the most comprehensive polling data about the Cuban exile community, and the results have always been revealing and enlightening. The Cuba Poll, since 1997, has been headed by the Institute for Public Opinion Research at FIU, led by Dr. Guillermo J. Grenier, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and Dr. Hugh Gladwin, Director of the Institute for Public Opinion Research. As the principle investigators, they have led the way to find out the current attitudes about Cubans in Miami. But, there are some people that wouldn't touch the findings with a ten-foot pole.
Ana Carbonell, from the office of US Representative (District 21) Lincoln Diaz-Balart, has described this poll as a "propaganda tool used by those who want to ease sanctions and normalize relations with the regime." It seems that Ana Carbonell is not aware that many polls show that Americans oppose current policy towards Cuba. But, since Lincoln Diaz-Balart favors current US policy, and the 2004 travel restrictions as "part of an important means" against Cuba, he will most likely avoid this poll as much as possible. Also, upon the release of the new poll, Ninoska Perez-Castellon from Radio Mambi was prepared to discredit the findings on her radio program at 3pm.
But, no one has yet to directly challenge the findings, and most likely no one will. Yet yesterday, Ninoska Perez-Castellon made an embarrassing challenge against the findings. Her argument was not based on the content of the Cuba Poll, but rather on the credibility of Carlos Saladrigas, co-chairman of the the Cuba Study Group (CSG), which funded the poll. Ninoska went off on a tangent about what Saladrigas said in the late 90's and how its doesn't jive with his current posture. I have no idea how this has anything to do with the new Cuba Poll. The funding of the CSG has not altered in any way the basic framework of the Cuba Poll. Since 1997, way before the formation of the Cuba Study Group, the Cuba Poll has asked the same basic questions, with small variations in order to address current political issues. This is also the first time the Cuba Poll is funded by the CSG, yet the principle questions are the same ones from 1997, 2000, and 2004.