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Miami exiles pressure U.S. to loosen policy on Cuba

David Adams

Reuters

Jun 17, 2014

Excerpts:

Tired of waiting for the end of communism in Cuba, more and more Cuban-Americans have concluded that it is time for the United States to allow more engagement with the island they left behind, polls show.

"Our president has not had the guts to do the right thing," said Arriola, who helped raise funds for Barack Obama's campaign and whose son, Ricky, sits on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Advocates of policy change say the administration's caution stems less these days from concerns about a Miami backlash than from the hard-line stance of lawmakers like Bob Menendez, a Cuban-American and the influential chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

...

But a poll set for release Tuesday by Florida International University is expected to show a tilt in the exile community, with a majority favoring closer ties with the communist-run island.

Such widespread sentiment could ease the way for the Obama administration to revise U.S.-Cuba policy by permitting greater travel and commercial activity to help an emerging private sector on the island.