Poll - Life in Cuba sucks
Posted: 17 November 2009 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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BY LESLEY CLARK | Miami Herald

Any goodwill Raul Castro enjoyed as Cuba’s new leader has dissipated, according to a new poll indicating that more than four out of five Cubans surveyed inside the country are unhappy with its direction.

The survey, conducted by the International Republican Institute, also found that one in five Cubans named food scarcity as their biggest worry, and 82 percent said life in Cuba was going ``so-so, badly or very badly.’’ That was up slightly from 80 percent in November 2008, the last time the study was conducted.

“Cubans are as frustrated and pessimistic as they’ve ever been,” Alex Sutton, the institute’s Latin American program director said. He noted that earlier surveys suggested the younger Castro enjoyed a “small bump” in confidence when he took over for his brother Fidel in February 2008.

But now, ``A vast majority of Cubans, if given the opportunity, would vote for fundamental political change. Cubans are dissatisfied. They want change—politically and economically,’’ Sutton said.

The institute, which receives funding from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and private donations, has been surveying Cubans on the island since 2007 to support its work promoting democracy, Sutton said.

Though Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain chairs the institute’s board, Sutton said the institute—like its Democratic counterpart, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs—is nonpartisan.

The poll had to be conducted surreptitiously on the island, and was done by a Latin American polling firm that the institute won’t name, citing the ability of the firm to keep working in Cuba. The interviews with 432 Cuban adults, ages 18 and over, were conducted face-to-face from July 4 to Aug. 7 in 12 Cuban provinces. The poll carries a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Fernand Amandi, a pollster with Miami-based Bendixen & Associates, which has polled in Cuba, said he wasn’t familiar with the institute’s poll—which will be released Tuesday—but suggested general caution in interpreting results from the country.

``That culture has institutionalized suppression of one’s true feelings and, as a result, you have to always consider that whenever discussing studies that are done in Cuba,’’ he said.

None of the questions involved U.S. policy toward Cuba, though 8 percent of those surveyed in Cuba volunteered that ending the U.S. embargo against Cuba would help improve Cuba’s economy.

There was little unanimity on the question of how to improve Cuba’s economy: 20 percent suggested changing the political system; 15 percent cited ending the practice of requiring two forms of currency; and 10 percent said changing the economic system.

The survey also indicated that, if given the chance, 75 percent of those surveyed would vote for democracy—an increase from 63 percent in November 2008. Support is highest among those 40 to 49 years old, with 82 percent saying they’d vote for a democracy. Of those 60 and older, 64 percent said they’d vote for democracy—an increase of nearly 20 percentage points from November 2008.

The poll, which was conducted after the Obama administration announced it would allow U.S. companies to offer cellular roaming services, satellite TV and radio and fiber-optic cable to the island, shows that most Cubans—57 percent—still have no access to the Internet or e-mail.

But the poll found the number of Cubans who make cell phone calls increased 10 percent since November 2008, while the number of Cubans sending and receiving e-mail grew by 23 percent.

The biggest complaint about Cuba remained low salaries and a high cost of living, though complaints about food scarcity increased. The number of Cubans citing lack of freedom in the political system, however, declined from 18 percent in October 2007 to 10 percent.

Just 15 percent of those surveyed said they believe the current government will succeed in solving Cuba’s biggest problem in the next few years. About twice as many said they believed the government could solve problems in November 2008.

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Cuba consulting services

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Posted: 26 February 2010 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Only in MIami….

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Posted: 16 March 2010 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Cubans have several different sources where they buy food - the bodega, where they buy rationed goods - the agromercados, where they buy food from farmers - the black-market - the state run shops (and kiosks), selling in CUC.

There are reports that during the worst days of the special period, there were very few cats or dogs to be seen in Havana. But that was almost 20 years ago.

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iedge

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Posted: 16 March 2010 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes it’s true about the first statements about were to buy food. But about the cats and dogs…..c’mon… there is a chinatown in Havana but it’s not China…. there were a program ( I don’t know if it’s still going) to sterilize domestic animals, and even so, I don’t find the Cubans to be the most interested in animals of the people…
I know you guys are in the states, most of you in Florida but try to be serious…

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Posted: 06 July 2011 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I know this thread is kind of old, but do you think that maybe life sucks in a lot of places right now due to the economy?  Of course, I have no first-hand knowledge of Cuba.  But, I know that people seem to be hurting everywhere.

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