Iris de Armas Padrino (AIN) and Lorena Sánchez
IN the closing session of their 4th Congress, members of the National Blind Association (ANCI) presented President Raúl Castro Ruz with the Bastón de Cristal distinction, which was received by Council of State Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa.
Also in the closing session, José Blanch Ferrer was ratified as president of the ANCI National Council, while the Latin American Blind Union (ULAC) awarded the Cuban organization with the Enrique Elizalde decoration for its notable work, which has become a reference for the region.
Cuba’s achievements in terms of the social reinsertion of blind and visually impaired persons are a demonstration of this, noted Brazilian Volmir Raimundi, ULAC president, who took part in the event.
Instituted in 2000, this award is presented by ULAC for disseminating positive initiatives and has been received to date by four organizations: one from Uruguay, two from Brazil and the ANCI, he commented.
Raimundi also highlighted the integration of persons with vision impairments, and thus with special needs, into education and their guaranteed access to higher studies in careers such as Psychology and Law, among others.
In contrast to other states, where the realities are very different, the ULAC president talked of the attention received by the close to 32,000 members of ANCI, an organization with national coverage and which extends to the country’s smallest communities and most remote locations.
"Another exemplary issue in Cuba is its rehabilitation work," affirmed Raimundi, drawing attention to the work developed by Cuban José Raúl Baquet from 2018-2012 as secretary of functional rehabilitation and a member of the Latin American organization’s executive committee, a position to which he was reelected for the 2012-2016 period.
Baquet instigated a review of the ULAC Rehabilitation Manual, "which is used as a reference in all the countries of Latin America in relation to providing positive recuperation for blind persons," he noted.
After recognizing the humanitarian work being undertaken by hundreds of Cuban doctors in Brazil, he stated, "It is an honor to be able to be part of the friendship between the two nations and ULAC is always at the disposition of the Cuban people and to collaborate in every possible way."