U.S. Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo, and Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque enjoy a moment
Published: December 15, 2006 10:45 AM ET
NEW YORK Judging by press coverage and political rhetoric, one would imagine that most Americans take a very dim view of establishing diplomatic ties with Fidel Castro's Cuba. A new Gallup poll, however, reveals that this is far from true.
The national poll, taken Dec. 8-10, found that two in three Americans (67%) actually endorse the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. "Americans' support for diplomacy with the island nation is higher now than it has been in recent years," Gallup reports, jumping 12% just since 2004.
Surprisingly, support among Republicans (59%) does not lag far behind Democrats (71%).
Unlike many officials, American appear to be able to both have a dim view of Cuba -- and back diplomatic ties. Gallup annually asks Americans to assess whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of various countries, and the latest results show that Cuba rates near the bottom of the list of 22 nations tested. It ranks only above Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, North Korea, and Iran. Only 21% have a favorable view of Castro's Cuba.