GALLUP POLL: Cubans Support the Revolution

By Luis Martin

Nov. 6, 1999

An independent, scientific survey conducted in Cuba in 1994 revealed that a significant majority there believes the Revolution has yielded more successes than failures. The great majority of Cubans also blamed the U.S. economic sanctions -rather than the political system- for economic difficulties.

The interviews, conducted by Central American pollsters, canvassed 1,002 Cubans over 75% of the national territory to represent over 70% of the islands population. The poll was designed by the Miami Herald and CID/Gallup, the Costa Rican affiliate of Gallup in Princeton, N.J. Needless to say, the Miami Herald and Cuban exiles did not like the results and no other poll of this kind has been conducted since.

Asked what problems have been caused in Cuba by U.S. economic sanctions, 62% of those familiar with that law said it has created major problems for Cuba, 24% said the usual problems and the remainder gave no response. Followed responses also cited the U.S. blockade as the principal cause of the island's economic problems.

Although the second largest majority chose food shortages to be Cuba's most serious problem, most said to be either completely or partly satisfied with their present consumption. An overwhelming number of respondents also indicated that they believe conditions will improve as a result of government reforms.

The pollsters also concluded from their findings that Cubans are in the main are still willing to support their revolution. Fifty-eight percent said they believe that the achievements of the Revolution -mainly education and health care- far outweighed its failures.

Responding to the question: "who would aid anyone who disagrees with the government", the great majority said "nobody" and the smallest minority chose "political dissidents".

Among other significant findings:

--A majority preferred economic and social equality over individual freedom and an equal number chose government management of agriculture and industry over private ownership.

--The vast majority stated that racial discrimination is virtually non-existent in Cuba.

--Eighty percent were found to disagree with President Clinton's termination of remittances from relatives in the U.S. and trips between the two countries.

--A large majority chose Cuban television and radio as providing the most accurate news about Cuba and the world, over all foreign means of communication including friends and family.

--Ninety-one percent were found to be home owners and 86% of them had fully paid their homes.

--The overwhelming majority of Cubans considered Mexico as their best friend and the U.S. as their worst.

Responding to criticism from likely sources in Miami, Carlos Denton, Director of CID/Gallup in Costa Rica, said in his analysis of the survey: "We conducted the poll to our entire professional satisfaction. We were able to do it because the people could care less whether we were authorized or not, or what we asked." Denton added: "they were not afraid".