Barack Obama is a pretty popular fellow these days. His approval rating is hovering near the 80% mark, according to a new Bendixen & Amandi Poll for Univision Noticias-Fusion in collaboration with the Washington Post. Before you start rubbing your eyes, wondering if you’re seeing clearly, be advised that that the president’s high approval rating is among Cubans, who like him nearly twice as much as Americans currently do.
According to a summary of the poll results:
1,200 Cubans living across the island, 34 percent of Cubans have a “very positive” opinion of Obama, while 46 percent say they have a “somewhat positive” opinion of the U.S. president. That puts Obama’s overall favorability rating well above that of Fidel Castro, whose “very positives” and “somewhat positives” add up to 44 percent. Cuban President Raul Castro’s favorability rating is at 47 percent, nudging him slightly ahead of his older brother in the popularity category, according to the survey results.
Overall, the poll suggests Cubans have a more favorable opinion of Obama than they do of the United States in general. Fifty-three percent of Cubans said they consider the United States a “friend of Cuba,” compared with 93 percent who say Venezuela is Cuba’s friend, 71 percent who identify Russia as a friend, and 74 percent who think Mexico is their pal. On the friend-of-Cuba scale, the U.S. polls ahead of just North Korea (43 percent), Syria (31 percent) and Iran (28 percent), although only a dozen countries were included on the survey.
The findings also reveal that 89% of Cubans are hoping Obama will favor them with a visit. If he does he will be the first U.S. president to visit the island since Calvin Coolidge stopped by in 1928. Too bad the pollsters didn’t inquire what percentage of Americans would like to see Obama head to Cuba and what percentage of those would like to see him stay.