Pirms piecpadsmit gadiem Latvija kopā ar kaimiņvalstim Igauniju un Lietuvu atguva savu neatkarību pēc piecdesmit Padomju okupācijas gadiem. Tas tika panākts nevardarbīgā ceļā caur Baltijas dziesmoto revolūciju, pateicoties vienīgi šo tautu drosmei un apņēmībai. Tās bija gatavas stāties pretī padomju šautenēm un tankiem tikai ar saviem neapbruņotajiem cilvēkiem un dziļu pārliecību par savām tiesībām, labi apzinoties, ka šīs šautenes un tanki viņus jebkurā brīdī var satriekt, kā tie bija satriekuši tik daudzus pirms tam.Full text: Latvian, English. There is more on Latvia and our history there. No one says it better than Vaira Vike-Freiberga.
Fifteen years ago Latvia, along with neighboring Estonia and Lithuania, regained its independence after fifty years of Soviet occupation. The Baltic Singing Revolution achieved this by non-violent means, by the sheer courage and determination of the peoples of these countries. They were ready to face Soviet guns and tanks with nothing but their unarmed bodies and the deep conviction of their rights, knowing full well that, at any moment, these guns and tanks might crush them as they had crushed so many before.
I first read the reports in the Latvian media and wasn't impressed. Then, I found the text of the speech and it was much more impressive than the reports.
Vike-Freiberga also met with Condoleeza Rice and discussed, among other things, the possibility that Latvia may be added to countries whose citizens do not need visa to visit US. There is a pending amendment to US immigration law that would add Poland to that list. If Latvia would be there together with Poland, it would save a lot of time for Latvians travelling to US. US visa procedures can be quite time-consuming, as I have experienced myself.