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  • Tourists stand near the Capitol in Havana, Cuba, March 9, 2015.

    Tourists stand near the Capitol in Havana, Cuba, March 9, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 March 2015

U.S. voters not only support normalizing relations, but also lifting of the economic blockade.

A new national poll released Wednesday showed a strong majority of U.S. voters support the Obama administration's new policy toward Cuba and wish to see an end to the 50-year-old economic blockade against the country.

Results showed that support for the new, more constructive approach toward Cuba crossed party lines.

Some 64 percent of those surveyed supported ending the U.S. blockade on the island nation, including 74 percent of Democrats, 51 percent of Republicans, as well as 64 percent of independents.

The economic blockade is the cause of numerous woes for residents of the island, who have difficulties accessing goods and materials as a result of the trade restrictions imposed on Cuba.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents supported expanding travel and trade by U.S. citizens and having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The Obama administration is looking to lift the economic blockade on Cuba, however that can only be done through an act of Congress, where both houses are currently under the control of Republicans lawmakers, most of whom oppose normalizing relations with Cuba.

Republican politicians may be swayed by the fact that 64 percent of Republicans respondents under the age of 50 agreed that the recent policy changes "are in the best interests of the U.S. and Cuban people."

"This national poll makes it clear that the trend lines we’ve seen in recent years continue to rise toward strong bipartisan support for our new course on Cuba," said Ricardo Herrero, director of CubaNow, a Miami-based advocacy group that backs the decision to normalize relations.

The improvement in Cuba-U.S. relations comes as the Obama administration sets its sights on the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Obama recently classified Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the U.S. via an executive order.

Political analysts have speculated that Obama's declaration against Venezuela is designed to assuage the concerns of right-wing Cuban exiles in Florida.

In an interview with MSNBC, George Ciccariello-Maher, assistant professor at Drexel University, said Obama's moves against Venezuela were meant to appease certain domestic sectors.

“Well I think it’s really astounding and clearly it’s an attempt to make certain sectors happy domestically and in Venezuela,” Ciccariello-Maher said.

The poll was conducted by Beyond the Beltway from February 26 to 27 among registered voters selected to match national demographics of the voting population.

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