Miami Cuban-Americans support end to embargo according to poll

1,000 Cuban-Americans surveyed by Florida International University

MIAMI - About half of Cuban-Americans surveyed in Miami support an end to the U.S. embargo of Cuba. Even more support resuming diplomatic relations with the communist island's government.

That's according to a Florida International University poll released Tuesday.

POLL: When should the US end its embargo?

It's the latest in a series of polls conducted by the university since 1991 that mark a steady evolution of Cuban-American views.

Just a decade ago, electoral success in Miami depended in part on candidates' support for the embargo. But newer Cuban arrivals and second-generation Cuban-Americans tend to back more diplomacy.

"Polls are as deceptive as the questionnaire or the people behind them," U.S. Rep. Ileana Ross-Lehtinen, R-Fla., told Local 10 senior political reporter Michael Putney. "They can be skewed. Questions can be asked a certain way. So I'm not surprised."

The Cuban-American said she doesn't believe the poll findings since two groups that favor closer ties with Cuba paid for it.

"The folks who sponsored this poll have an ideological bend," Ross-Lehtinen said. "They are for increased travel and more contact with the regime."

However, FIU stands behind the poll and claims most questions have been asked the same way for years.

The poll of 1,000 Cuban-American Miami-Dade County residents adds weight to recent efforts by Cuban-American business leaders and academics to get President Barack Obama to loosen more travel and trade restrictions with Cuba.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.