Since its creation, the website of Democratic Bridge Program at the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) has been headed with a quote from Václav Havel that clearly summarizes its objective: “I know how important it is for a person to know that out there, there are people who are not indifferent of your fate”.
On occasion of the passing away of Václav Havel, on December 18, 2011, CADAL’s board decided to create the Václav Havel Institute for international democratic solidarity on the day of his birth, October 5th. Previously, CADAL asked for and was granted permission by Havel’s widow, Mrs. Dagmar Havlova, for the institute to bear his name.
With the foundation of Václav Havel Institute (IVH), CADAL seeks to strengthen the activities of its Democratic Bridge Program, contributing to maintain alive the legacy of the first President of Czech Republic in the promotion of human rights and the memory of the fascist and communist dictatorships.
IVH will prioritize on education and the dissemination of democratic values, peace and international solidarity in the defense of human rights mostly focused on the youth.
Among its activities, the Václav Havel Institute will organize the photo gallery “Citizen Havel”, it will showcase the documentary “The Power of the Powerless”, it will organize the “Program Good Bye Lenin: The socialist experience of Central and Eastern Europe and the transitions to democracy” and a campaign for Latin American countries to adopt the “Day of the black ribbon” that is remembered every August 23 in the European Union and Canada.
About CADAL and Democratic Bridge Program
The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), is a non-profit, non-partisan, private foundation whose mission consists on the promotion of democratic values; the monitoring and analysis of political, economic and institutional performance; and the formulation of public policies that contribute to good governance and the wellbeing of people.
The creation of CADAL, on February 2003, took into account the political, economic and institutional crisis in Argentina and several Latin American countries, and the future challenges in terms of democratic freedoms and economic growth with social inclusion. On this regard, CADAL appeared to occupy a space in the region promoting the different facets of development through initiatives of political, economic and institutional opening.
Though CADAL organizes most of its activities in Argentina and Uruguay, because of its work promoting international democratic solidarity, it has a regional and global reach. On this regard, CADAL is the pioneer think tank in Latin America to promote the adoption of a common democratic agenda in foreign policy regarding human rights, through its Democratic Bridge Program.
Democratic Bridge is an initiative by CADAL, dedicated to the international promotion of civic and political liberties through the following activities: a) Advocate for the implementation of a foreign policy committed to human rights in democratic countries; b) Monitors the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of those countries under dictatorships; c) Gives international solidarity to support the efforts of political opening of democrats living in countries ruled by dictatorships; Train the youth in democratic values and on the importance of international solidarity; e) Organize campaigns for the defense of free speech and alerts on the attacks against journalists in Latin America.
CADAL is a member of the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI), is an Associated Institute of Proyecto Plataforma Democrática, and is registered as a Civil Society Organization at the Organization of American States (OAS).