When opening the events commemorating the victims of the Communist terror, the President of Latvia participated in the conference “Historical Memory” organised by the Foundation "Siberian Children" in the Riga Castle.
While addressing the participants of the conference, the President of Latvia pointed out that, while celebrating the Centenary of Latvia, we had looked back at the past of our country. From the many stories including the stories of the children of Siberia, and what the Centenary of our country revealed, we could learn heroism, endurance, and preserving the love of our homeland in the most difficult circumstances.
“Those are stories that are painful to remember and that perhaps somebody would find more expedient to forget. To build a strong society and state, we must understand, confront, and reconcile with the painful and uncomfortable past as well,” emphasised Raimonds Vējonis.
The President of Latvia admitted that he was very delighted that such steps were taken and the society stepped out of the comfort zone during the previous year. With the opening of the so-called Cheka bags, we are closer to the truth that Latvia owes to all the victims of the terror committed by the Soviet regime – the killed ones, deported ones, and their children.
“Russia must also recognise the crimes committed by the Soviet power to confront their past. Despite the official incompetence of the USSR legal successor regarding this issue, I am pleased that Latvians and Siberians are linked by human bonds. This could be called folk diplomacy, which has helped us here, in Latvia, and the people in former exile locations far away to identify what has happened since the time of awakening,” noted Raimonds Vējonis.
In the Riga Castle, the President of Latvia thanked everyone who chose to remember and chose the truth because it made us all stronger.
While commemorating the victims of the Communist regime, the President of Latvia will lay flowers at the ceremony and will address the audience at the Freedom Monument on 1 p.m. Later in the afternoon, the President of Latvia will depart for the Memorial of the Soldiers of Latvian Army in Litene, where he will attend the commemorative event at the Litene Cemetery and he will meet with the repressed at the campfires of remembrance.