Nationalities in the USSR
Latvian Group Wants Full Political Independence
This report describes the demands of the Latvian Popular Front, one of the coalition groups that emerged across the Soviet Union, but most aggressively in the Baltic states, during the last years of the Soviet regime. As this report indicates, by the end of the summer of 1989, this political organization had already taken the step of demanding political independence for Latvia, thus challenging in the most direct way the territorial integrity and sovereign unity of the Soviet Union.
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"Latvian Group Wants Full Political Independence," Paris AFP, September 6, 1989. Trans. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS).
Primary Source— Excerpt
The Popular Front of Latvia will call for full political independence from the Soviet Union in its new programme to be formally adopted by its congress in early October, Popular Front spokesmen said Tuesday. . . . One of the front leaders, Dainas Ivans, had said last week that the new programme would call for "the struggle for full economic and political independence," rather than moves on the path towards such a goal. The programme will also demand that the Baltic state now be given a special status in the Soviet Union, marking its transition from a Soviet republic to an independent state, as existed prior to annexation by Moscow in 1940, Mr. Ivans added. . . . The Latvian Popular Front, which claims 240,000 members and 300,000 supporters out of a total population of 2.7 million, will support candidates backing it own platform in next December's local elections . . . the Popular Front, which acts as an umbrella organization for about 30 societies, also says its membership includes 40,000 of the 170,000 members of the Latvian communist party.
How to Cite this Source
Paris AFP, "Latvian Group Wants Full Political Independence," Making the History of 1989, Item #389, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/389 (accessed July 30 2014, 1:01 am).