Berzins tells Latvians to ‘stand tall’

  • 2013-10-07
  • From wire reports

RIGA - At the 25th anniversary ceremony for the Latvian Popular Front on Oct. 5, President Andris Berzins echoed the recent words of Professor Janis Stradins, who urged the Latvian people to break free from its “no history” syndrome, reports LETA. In his address, the president asked whether the Latvian people are “standing tall”.

Berzins also touched upon the dilemma of the mass exodus that Latvia now faces, in turn mentioning the “unstoppable freedom of mobility.”

The Popular Front spearheaded the Reawakening and Independence movements in Latvia in the late 1980s-early 90s, and this anniversary is a cause for serious reflection for many, if not all, the president said.

The third Reawakening Movement, which culminated in the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, was not aggressive or violent, said Saeima Chairwoman Solvita Aboltina. “During the hard years when the independence of Latvia was restored, we were united by the inner feeling that our success first and foremost depended on us alone, and that we ourselves - with our energy, being present when it mattered, our courage and non-violent protest - were strong enough to oppose the regime and ideology that had been suffocating our nation for so long.”

Looking back at these decisive events, Aboltina said 25 years was a long enough time to evaluate the job done by the Popular Front, but also too short a period of time to do this without attaching any emotion to the events of 25 years ago.