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{ Category Archives } History

The day we re-declared our independence

Twenty years ago on May 4, 1990, 138 deputies in the Supreme Council of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Latvia passed a declaration that made the Latvian SSR null and void. At the same time they reinstated the independent Republic of Latvia that had been founded on November 18, 1918. Since the Latvian SSR was […]

To Be Continued [A Diplomatic Success Story] (2010)

When I was lobbying for Latvia’s independence in the late 1980’s, I used to tell Washington politicians that the Soviet and Nazi occupations of Latvia were just a brief 50-year interruption in the history of the Latvian Republic. When Latvia’s independence was restored in 1991, I had the honour of joining one Latvian state institution […]

A piece of diplomatic history at 17th and Webster (2010)

On January 7, 2010 in a quiet neighborhood on the northwest side of Washington, D.C. the Latvian government sold a small piece of land that once had a big impact on our country’s history The brown brick 2-story building on the corner of 17th and Webster in Washington, D.C. may have served as Latvia’s first […]

Where there’s a wall there’s a way (2009)

In 1989, there was a Wall and a Way. One came down and the other rose up. The wall was named after the city of Berlin, and it extended way beyond the steel and concrete barrier that split Germany during the Cold War. The Berlin Wall was the visible portion of the Iron Curtain that […]

My 1989 (2009)

This was written for a German TV station (ARTE) web page marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. For most Balts, the process of democratization was synonymous with the restoration of independence. We were democratic countries before our occupation in 1940, and could only be so again if our legal independence […]