First ambassador to Brazil gets accreditation

Latvia’s first ambassador to Brazil—home to about 200 Latvian citizens and many more persons who claim at least some Latvian ancestry—has received his letter of accreditation from President Valdis Zatlers.

Artis Bertulis, who is Latvia’s ambassador to Portugal, will be the country’s nonresident ambassador to Brazil. Because of Brazil’s colonial history, it and Portugal continue to have strong cultural ties.

Bertulis met May 10 with the president to discuss Latvian-Brazilian relations. Among other issues, Zatlers emphasized the need for the ambassador to support the Latvian community in Brazil, according to the president’s press office.

A total of 238 persons in Brazil had received Latvian citizenship by July 1995, when a window for claiming double citizenship closed, according to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Rīga. Hundreds of Latvians emigrated to Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century, many spurred on by the promise of land.

Latvia also is represented by Honorary Consul Jānis Grimbergs in Sao Paulo, who has held the position since 1993.

Brazil is represented in Latvia by nonresident Ambassador Antonino Lisboa Mena Gonçalves, who is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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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