May 2021.- The men and women who as volunteers are grouped in the Florida branch of the Cuban Red Cross celebrate this May 8 the International Day of that humanitarian institution, directly linked in all the actions that are carried out here in the confrontation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was on a date like this of 1828 that Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman, philanthropist and humanist, came to the world, who after observing the disasters caused by the battle of Solferino, in Italy, captured his memories and experiences in the book A memory of Solferino, in which he advocated the creation of a corps of volunteers to help the war wounded regardless of which side they were.
His claim resulted in the creation of the Red Cross, a worldwide movement, a collaborator of states and peoples in their humanitarian work, led by an International Committee and whose actions are governed by international conventions such as those signed in Geneva, documents that collect its fundamental principles. : humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, volunteerism, unity and universality.
Cuba joined this movement defending International Humanitarian Law in 1909, thanks to the management of the Bayamian doctor Diego Tamayo y Figueredo, over the years it spread to all the country’s provinces and its actions strengthened until it became a ready force always to help the vulnerable within the national territory and in more than 20 countries that have been affected by different catastrophes such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, epidemics and volcanic eruptions.
It was in 1945 when the Red Cross brigade was constituted in the municipality of Florida, a group that had Gerardo Arencibia Milián as municipal president; Since then to date, many residents in the territory have joined this humanitarian force, which currently brings together 241 men and women, including veterans, lifeguards; the members of the Community Operations and Relief Groups; the volunteers who work in the Network of Reestablishment of Family Contacts; and the youth movement.
At present, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the life routine of all Cubans, the members of the Red Cross in Florida are present in health investigations, in Isolation Centers, at border points for control of people; they have acted as messengers, delivering food to vulnerable families in areas with limited movement; without neglecting the educational work in the communities and the dissemination of the sanitary measures to comply with and raise the perception of risk of the people. Martha Martínez Duliet / Radio Florida