Canadian TV eyes Latvia’s Soviet past

How Latvia is struggling to break with its Russian-dominated past is the subject of an episode of “Up Close,” a Canadian television documentary program, airing this week on the Newsworld International channel. The program should be available to cable and satellite television subscribers across North America.

Hosted by Helen Mann, the episode features interviews with Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga and Nīls Muižnieks, an American-born Latvian who now serves in the government as minister for special assignments for society integration affairs.

“Memories of the Soviet occupation are seared into the soul of every Latvian,” say the program notes posted on Newsworld International’s Web site. “To Latvians they are what the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the expulsion of the Acadians have been to generations of French Canadians. Here, though, these are not remembrances of a distant past. They’re the painful experiences of this generation of Latvians.”

According to the program schedule, “Up Close” is to air June 2 at 3:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST; June 3 at 12:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST; June 4 at 3:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST; June 5 at 10 p.m. EST; June 6 at 1 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. EST, and June 7 at 2:30 a.m. EST.

Further information is available from the program’s Web site.

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

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