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A Miami Herald Survey
Monday, April 11, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

No exile monolith

The Miami Herald has been covering the 25th anniversary of the Mariel boatlift for the past several days.  Today, the newspaper publishes the results of a survey with the headline, "Mariel Exiles Differ on U.S. Policy." The article ledes with the statement that the Mariel exiles have more moderate views than the folks who came before or after them. Then the article gets more precise.

About half of Mariel exiles polled feel that U.S. citizens should be allowed to travel to Cuba compared to about 34 percent of exiles who came before 1980 and about 60 percent of those who came after 1980.

The poll -- conducted by Coral Gables-based Bendixen & Associates for The Herald's coverage of the boatlift's 25th anniversary -- also found that about half of all Mariel refugees questioned would support a military invasion to depose Cuban President Fidel Castro compared to 60 percent of exiles who came before 1980 and just 38 percent of those who came after 1980.

The difference between "about half" and 60-percent in favor of an invasion doesn't seem so different to me. And the difference in travel is simple - folks who came later are much more likely to have close family still living in fidel's gulag.

What's more interesteing is that the poll shows there is not Cuban exile monolithic thinking as one would expect from reading the mainstream media. Read the whole thing.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren