As I wrote before, USA passed a new law that may result in visa-free travel for Latvians to United States by 2009. Maybe. Or not. Depending on some fine print and other things.
Latvia and five other Eastern European countries are not happy about that and have officially declared their disappointment. The news story about that has an interesting quote from a (Polish) employee of the US embassy in Poland. He/she recommends people to schedule their visa interviews for Friday. Consular officials are in a better mood on Fridays, because of upcoming holidays and deny visas to less people. (Here is the original Polish source for the quote.)
US claims that visas are being denied because the embassy officials are unsure whether people will return to Poland afterwards. Well, in Latvia, I have witnessed a number of denials to people who did not have any intention of staying in US illegally.