Public endorses change in Cuba policy

PUBLIC ENDORSES CHANGE IN CUBA POLICY…. The White House plans to “abandon longstanding restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba.” It was the right position for Obama to take during the campaign, and it’s encouraging to see him follow through.

But will Americans perceive the change in U.S. policy as somehow “soft on communism”? Apparently not.

President Obama is getting ready to visit to the Summit of the Americas next week amid rising reports the administration is planning to announce new rules on family travel and remittances to Cuba. Do Americans back a plan to relax some of the current restrictions on that island nation?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday suggests the answer is yes. Nearly two thirds think the United States should lift its ban on travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba. And seven in ten think it’s time to re-establish diplomatic relations with that country.

Support for the policy change has increased over the last three years.

On the Hill, Democrats support the change, and leading Republicans support the change. With the polls this one-sided, the administration should have the political support necessary to move away from the same ineffective policy both parties have embraced for far too long.

One can only support continued failure for so long before it gets ridiculous.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.