WASHINGTON – The majority of Americans are in favor of lifting the embargo on Cuba, according to a survey published in the United States on Monday that coincides with U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the island.
According to the New York Times/CBS News poll, 55 percent of the 1,022 adults questioned said they favored an end to the embargo, while 27 percent were opposed.
The number in favor of canceling the embargo has increased by 1 percentage point over a similar demographic study taken in July 2015, while those opposed also increased by 1 percent.
At the same time, 58 percent backed the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, while 25 percent rejected the idea, according to the survey taken between last March 11-15, and which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.
The study also found that 52 percent approve the handling of relations with the Latin American country by Obama, who announced last December 2014, together with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, the renewal of diplomatic ties.
This result shows an increase of 8 percent over a similar poll taken in December 2014.
Some 30 percent currently disagree with the president’s handling of relations with Cuba, 6 percent less than in the 2014 study.
Obama, who on Sunday began a three-day trip to Cuba, is the first sitting U.S. president to visit the island in almost 90 years and the only one to do so since the victory of the Castro-led revolution in 1959.
The United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1960 and imposed a trade embargo on the island following the decision by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, to decree the nationalization of American companies without compensation.
Though Obama has taken measures to promote bilateral relations, raising the embargo depends on Congress, currently controlled by a Republican opposition that resists approving its elimination.