Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Ten Foot Poll (Part 2)

And then there are the deniers. When you cannot dispute the findings on how people feel, then you make sure you reduce the strength of the results. NewsMax reports the findings of the new Cuba Poll with a Reuters article. Oddly, its the only news article I could find that quotes Daniel Erikson, a senior associate at the "independent" think-tank Inter-American Dialogue, a group whose members include the "Corporate Circle" (no surprise, its a long list of US and foreign corporations) . Daniel Erikson is quoted as saying: "Many of them (the people surveyed) aren't citizens and if they are citizens they are not big campaign contributors, so their voice doesn't matter as much as the voice of the hard-liners." Welcome to America, where if you don't vote, then you ain't squat!

Also, not surprisingly, Mr. Gomez from BabaluBlog, and Humberto Fontova's favorite poll analyst, comes to the SAME conclusion. He says: "
the reality is that what's important is what registered voters and likely voters think." Of course, the rest of you (working folks who still pay their taxes) don't matter.

Mr. Gomez has a very peculiar way of interpreting polls. He was ecstatic when he found out that an Ipsos poll this past February confirmed his dreams: that the "next time they tell you that the majority of Americans want to end the embargo you can tell them that's hogwash." According to Mr. Gomez' calculations of that poll "a solid majority of 54.5 [percent] want to continue the embargo vs. 45.5." But, I had to break the news [in the comments section] to Mr. Gomez that this poll was but a few that showed support for the US embargo, while many other polls over the years showed opposition. You can check out our classic exchange here. But, I have been banned since then because such exchanges are forbidden on BabaluBlog.

Mr. Gomez has new peculiar interpretations about this new Cuba Poll, but they clearly miss the point. The most important fact about this new poll is its comparison with prior results which Mr. Gomez conveniently ignores. Since 1997, support for the embargo has reduced from 78.2% (valid percent), to 57.4% in 2007. Support for a national dialogue among Cuban exiles, Cuban dissidents, and representatives of the Cuban government has increased from 29.7% (1997) to 50.3% (2007) in "strong favor." Mr. Gomez points out that "most Cubans don't want American companies or the taxpayers to get duped into paying deadbeat castro's bills" when he sees that only 34.1% of respondents favor expanding the Agricultural trade with Cuba. But, what Mr. Gomez misses is that this percentage is actually higher from the 2004 Cuba Poll, where only 26% percent were in favor of expansion. Mr. Gomez' interpretations are obviously faulty.

But, most importantly, the new Cuba Poll shows that a strong majority of Cuban-Americans in Miami want an end to the family travel restrictions of 2004. Hopefully, hard-liners and politicians will give these findings some consideration and decide what is best for the greater community. And, hopefully, in the future, everyone will consider the polls that show strong opposition to current US policy towards Cuba altogether.

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