Americans Don't Really Hate Cuba Like They Used To

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 10 2013 3:39 PM

Americans Don't Really Hate Cuba Like They Used To

454771277
OMG! He's kind of bowing down, too!

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Our current outrage—it may change in the next hour—is that President Obama shook the hand of known commie and Cuban President Raúl Castro. When asked about this, Arizona Sen. John McCain sardonically noted that Neville Chamberlain had shook the hand of Adolf Hitler. This became an outrage all its own. The White House, which knows from Internet Outrage, made it clear to reporters in South Africa that the handshake was unplanned.

But, well, who cares? The idea that a president who has been re-elected already (with the votes of South Florida!) would suffer from a Raúl Castro handshake is sort of outdated. Every year, Gallup asks Americans what they think of various countries, and Cuba's steadily been inching up from the bottom. Last year:

Screen shot 2013-12-10 at 3.20.14 PM

It probably doesn't hurt that the bland Raúl has replaced Fidel Castro as head of state. Nor does it hurt that Cuba hasn't posed any kind of threat to the United States since Barack Obama was a tot. Two countries currently run by governments we installed are far less popular than Cuba; Saudi Arabia, which is basically an ally, is only just as popular as our communist neighbor to the south.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.