14ymedio, Havana, July 25, 2019 — 74% of Cubans are in favor of change on the island according to a survey conducted by the Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH). Among those who responded affirmatively to the question about a change in the island’s politics, 43.2% would prefer a moderate change. (22.8% of those would like to see some change, 22.8% favor on a few changes and 22.8% would like to see only the most problematic things changed.) On the other hand, 31.3% want radical change.
The Madrid-based organization interviewed 1,082 Cubans (a small sampling due to difficulties on the ground) in eleven provinces. Residents of Guantanmo, Las Tunas, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus provinces were not surveyed. Respondents were divided evenly between men and women.
Among the 26% who did not respond affirmatively to the question about change in Cuba, 4.3% had no opinion, 7.7% declined to respond and only 13.5% felt there was no need to change anything.
The survey also asked about ways to achieve that change. The majority, 42.8% (345 respondents), were in favor of change through high-level government action, 31% (250) through a social unrest and 13.1% (43) through foreign intervention. The remaining 13.1% (129) had no opinion, did not answer or preferred other unspecified options.
In terms of what kind of change was desired, the numbers reveal that most would prefer a market economy (35%) or a democracy based on the rule of law and respect for human rights (32.4%). Minority preferences included annexation by another country (6.4%), a state controlled economy (9.4%), uncontrolled chaos (2.5%), a military dictatorship (1.7%) and other unspecified alternatives (12.5%).
OCDH asked a question about one of the most controversial issues for countries which have transitioned from dictatorship to democracy: forgiveness.
In response, 40.6% of those surveyed feel it is necessary to punish those responsible for the regime’s failures while 30.9% would pardon them. A significant 26.8% chose an intermediate option, which would give them the opportunity to participate in a new government.
The results of the survey, which was conducted in early July of this year, have been broken down by age. The largest group of respondents, 31.5%, was over 65. They were followed by those aged 45 to 54 (31.5%), then those 35 to 44 (21.4%) and those 25 to 34, (16.1%), the same percentage as those 16 to 24 years. Although the data was uniform for both sex and age, it is notable that those who most want a radical change are young people, at 43.5%.
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