The United States and Latvia: Looking Ahead to 2021
Riga, January 28, 2021 – Dārgie draugi! As we move forward in the new year and President Biden begins his work, I am optimistic about our alliance as democratic, freedom-loving nations. Strong, bipartisan support for Latvia and NATO will continue under the Biden administration, and I’m confident that we will have much to celebrate this year as partners.
The last few months have been challenging in many ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the globe and affected so many lives. I commend the hard-working medical professionals in Latvia for their intense efforts to help their fellow citizens. The crisis is not over, but there are reasons to be hopeful, especially as the distribution of safe and effective vaccines accelerates in the coming months.
In the United States, the uplifting inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris came two weeks after the outrageous attack on the U.S. Capitol. This attack illustrated the dangers of lies, disinformation, and hateful rhetoric. We must guard our democratic institutions to ensure the rule of law and protect our liberties. We must hold our elected leaders accountable and maintain our steadfast commitment to unity and democratic principles. The people of Latvia understand these fundamental issues.
Thirty years ago this month, courageous Latvians manned barricades around Riga in the face of threats from Soviet forces—a powerful moment in Latvia’s long struggle to reclaim independence. In August of 1991, Latvia was formally free of this long, oppressive occupation. By October of that year, the first American diplomats were able to return to Latvia and support your hard work to build new institutions and realize your dreams of personal liberty, economic opportunity, and sovereignty.
Today, the United States and Latvia continue to stand together as close friends, partners, and allies. Our robust security cooperation is a model for NATO and non-NATO allies alike, and the United States recognizes Latvia’s contributions and leadership in international issues. I am proud to lead the Embassy team in expanding our partnership in all areas, from our security relationship to our economic ties to our shared fight against corruption. As President Biden said in his inaugural address, “We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.” I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming year, to celebrate what we have achieved as allies, and to face the challenges and opportunities of 2021 together. Thank you.
Ambassador Carwile’s video message is available here: https://youtu.be/6hfADnAOuYo