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Latin American Democratic Bridge Network
January 29, 2010
The Network seeks to ''become a regional Latin American referrent in the promotion of democratic principles and human rights established by the different instruments of the Inter-American System in the matter, influencing the public agenda in our countries and being recognized for its efficient support to reginoal integration, for the quality of its actions and the commitment of its members''.

The meeting of the members of de Executive Council of Red Puente Democrático Latino Cubano took place at CADAL's office in Buenos Aires. The participants agreed to open the objective of the network and name it Red Puente Democrático Latinoamericano. Thus, the network "appears as a civil society initiative that preocupied watches some regional realities that threaten democratic principles and human rights, so we fill compelled to act. For this reason we believe that we cannot be indiferent spectators of the realities that strongly stroke the life of millions of people, communities and countries, limiting individual and collective freedoms. We feel the urgency to commit with an active and explicit promotino of democratic values, as a basic condition to life in society andas a constitutive element of fundamental rights of people. At the same time, we are convinced that a network formed by diverse people and organizations from Latin America, can positively influence to orient the public agenda in the region towards the guaranty of democratic principles. So, we will call the Latin American democratic workd to become part of this initiative and to become a part of its actions and tasks, with the mission of: Promoting democracy and human rights in Latin America through the generation of solidarity bonds, dialogue and reflection among diverse people and civil society organizations already commited in their countries with democratic values and heading preferably to those realities where more restrictions and threats are suffered to peoples integrity, rule of law and the complete excercise of fundamental liberties".

Regarding its vision, the Network seeks to "become a regional Latin American referrent in the promotion of democratic principles and human rights established by the different instruments of the Inter-American System in the matter, influencing the public agenda in our countries and being recognized for its efficient support to reginoal integration, for the quality of its actions and the commitment of its members".

The participants of the meeting where Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernan Alberro, CADAL (Argentina and Uruguay), Jorge Maldonado, Corporación Justicia y Democracia (Chile), Héctor R. Leis, Instituto Millenium (Brazil), Jorge Villena, Instituto Peruano de la Economía Social de Mercado (Peru), Cesar Ricaurte, Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de Medios (Fundamedios) from Ecuador, and Andrés Cañizalez and Micaela Hierro, Adherent members of the Newtork for Venezuela and Argentina, respectively.

During the meeting the participants recognized the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) as a founding member of Red Puente Democrático Latinoamericano, asigning it a pro tempore Executive Management of the network, and they decided to include in the Executive Council as Associated Entities, to Instituto de Prensa y Libertad de Expresión (IPLEX) from Costa Rica and Fundación Andina para la Observación y Estudio de Medios (Fundamedios) from Ecuador.

Paying attention to its origins, Red Puente Democrático Latinoamericano will priorize the initial actions in the Cuba Chapter, "promoting freedom of association and speech allowing the begining of a democratic opening in the country governed by a totalitarian dictatorship since half a century ago". In this sense, the Plan of Activities presented by CADAL was aproved for the period of February 1, 2010 till January 31, 2011 and that will have the economic support of National Endowment for Democracy (United States).

Finally, the representatives before the Executive Council of the Network agreed that the fund raising proposals to be presented by Institutes and Members of the Red Puente Democrático Latinoamericano as such, will have to meet the mission of the network and be aproved by all the members of the Executive Council.

The Network is also formed by Unión Colombiana de Jóvenes Demócratas (UCJD); Observatorio Hannah Arendt, Venezuela; Fundación para el Periodismo (Bolivia), as Adherent Institutes, and social Latin American referents as Adherent Members.

 Watch the video with a message from the members of the Network to the Cuban people.