Book about former president raises controversy

A new book about former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga by controversial journalist Lato Lapsa continues to make waves. Va(i)ras virtuve, published Feb. 1 by the Rīga-based Atena, discloses what Lapsa and co-authors Irēna Saatčiane and Kristīne Jančevska claim is evidence of the ex-president’s free-spending time in office.

Vīke-Freiberga, who returned from exile in Canada to become the nation’s second president after Latvia regained independence, served from 1999-2007. Although often seen as a last-minute compromise candidate, Vīķe-Freiberga is presented in the book as a person who clearly wanted to become president.

The 184-page book includes many reproductions of documents as well as a CD-ROM with more details about Vīķe-Freiberga’s years in office.

A Web site in support of the book,, could not be accessed. However, a site in support of the ex-president,, has called on readers not to buy Lapsa’s book. Registered to Roberts Šulcs in the Czech Republic, the site includes pages applauding an apparent decision by the director of the Jānis Roze bookstore not to sell Lapsa’s book and then criticizing the director for apparently having a change of heart. Jānis Roze’s online store offers the book for LVL 7.95.

Va(i)ras virtuve

Controversial journalist Lato Lapsa is the lead author of Va(i)ras virtuve.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

3 thoughts on “Book about former president raises controversy

  1. This is the same old cannibal pot syndrome. One great Latvian lady crawls out of the pot and then other mean-spirited victims try to drag her back into the boiling cauldron.

  2. The cannibal pot analogy may not apply since VVF “crawled out of the pot” long ago. She has worked long and hard for her achievments, and already had significant stature in Canada and Europe before Latvia regained it’s independance. Her work with the Dainas and Latvijas Instituts are testimony to her deep love for Latvia. Who is this Lapsa but some little nobody who is trying to make a name for himself for trying to toss manure at a respectable and dearly loved Latvian lady.

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