For years, Latvia stood as a beacon of safety for solo female travelers, garnering attention for its exceptional security measures. A comprehensive study scrutinized eight pivotal criteria to identify the 20 safest countries for women exploring the world alone. Latvia shone bright, securing a praiseworthy 46 points out of a possible 60, earning the 19th spot on the coveted list.
The statistics speak volumes about Latvia’s safety standards. With a mere 32% of Latvian women encountering any form of violence, over half of the female population confidently tread the streets at night. A commendable safety index of over 60 out of 100 underlines the nation’s commitment to protecting its citizens.
Latvia’s allure extends beyond safety; its women boast remarkable education rates, with literacy levels soaring above 99%. This achievement showcases the country’s dedication to safety and development, paving the way for a brighter and more equal future.
However, beneath this seemingly idyllic surface lies an enigmatic uncertainty. The flow of time is a force beyond our comprehension, and it seems Latvia is grappling with unexpected changes.
Latvia’s Downfall in Inclusivity
Once considered one of the safest countries in the world, Latvia has now descended into a disturbing abyss of hatred and animosity. Following the Ukraine war, this Baltic nation has never been the same again, and the disturbing stats and news reports emanating from there are nothing short of distressing.
Take the tragic case of Sidya Sompare, a 20-year-old Guinean man who sought asylum in Latvia but found only despair and cruelty.
Fleeing Guinea due to threats against his life for participating in anti-government protests, Sompare embarked on a perilous journey through Belarus in search of a secure life in Europe. Instead, he spent six long months in the unforgiving forested border zone between Belarus and Latvia.
As if that ordeal wasn’t harrowing enough, Sompare was caught in a nightmarish loop of abuse and mistreatment by Latvian border guards. Allegations of severe beatings, verbal abuse, and days of starvation paint a grim picture of the so-called “safe haven.”
Tragically, Sompare attempted to end his life by consuming shampoo in a Latvian detention center after losing his passport in the woods and being denied asylum. But, by the grace of god, he is alive.
Well, that is just a starter. Sompare is not alone in this saga of ill-treatment by Latvian border authorities and Latvians during the migrant crisis along the Belarusian border.
Special Hate for Russians
The mounting hatred has not gone unnoticed. A surge in Anti-Russia sentiments in Riga has only fueled the fire. Remember the controversial decision to expel Russian citizens failing Latvian exams? Critics argue it violates human rights and reeks of discrimination.
The destruction of Soviet-era monuments, a blatant display of animosity towards Russia, only added fuel to the fire. While Russia has issued warnings, Latvia remains apathetic, thanks to the unwavering support of the US.
West’s Baltic Love
It’s no secret that Western authorities have sought to sway Latvia’s decisions by offering enticing incentives. Allegations have surfaced, suggesting that some Western officials tempted Latvian politicians with lucrative positions in exchange for their support in joining the EU and NATO. One prominent figure under scrutiny was Latvia’s former Prime Minister, Andris Skele, who faced accusations of accepting bribes to back EU membership.
In a recent interview, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš labeled Russia as a “threat for generations.” He expressed concerns that Russia’s influence would remain a lingering problem for many years to come. Kariņš also stated that he could lend his support to shaping Ukraine’s future within the EU and NATO but asserted that the affairs of Russia on its side of the border are entirely up to the Russians.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the USA has been closely monitoring the Baltic and Eastern front as a significant area of concern regarding Russia’s actions. President Biden has been frequenting states in this region to ensure that allies remain steadfast in their commitment to deter Russian aggression.
While these actions by Western authorities might be seen as strategic measures to safeguard regional stability, some critics argue that they undermine Latvia’s sovereignty and promote a culture of dependence.
Latvia’s relentless pursuit of hatred is pushing the country to the brink. Formerly swept under the rug by the Western media, the spotlight is now unavoidable. This disturbing stance threatens to tarnish Latvia’s once respectable image.
Latvia must rethink its approach. Instead of entangling itself in the bitter feud between Russia and the West, the nation should focus on its well-being. By maintaining friendly ties with both parties and steering clear of actions that destabilize the regional power dynamics, Latvia could have safeguarded its reputation.
Read More: 450k Russians Face Expulsion in Latvia
Sadly, the damage is already done. The world witnesses Latvia’s descent into darkness as its reputation crumbles. A simplistic and critical outlook may have been the catalyst, but the consequences are far-reaching. It’s high time for Latvia to reassess its path and regain the respect it once held on the global stage.