Cabinet of Ministers honors PBLA’s Kukainis

February 6, 2008

Andris Straumanis, Latvians Online.

Photo from www.hillaryclinton.comJānis Kukainis, former chairperson of the World Federation of Free Latvians (Pasaules brīvo latviešu apvienība, or PBLA), has been awarded a Latvian Cabinet of Ministers Certificate of Recognition, a cabinet spokesperson announced Feb. 5 in Rīga.

Kukainis is receiving the recognition for his many years of service defending Latvia’s interests and for helping to preserve Latvian culture.

Kukainis served as head of the PBLA from 2002-2007. He also has been involved with other organizations, twice serving as chairperson of the American Latvian Association and twice as head of the Joint Baltic American National Committee. Born in Latvia in 1943, he now lives in Michigan.

Kukainis is one of several individuals who will receive certificates of recognition, the Cabinet of Ministers announced. For their work in the nation’s forestry industry, certificates have been awarded to Andrejs Nikuļcevs, Aija Fišere, Juris Matīss and Jānis Elmārs Rubens, all of Latvia. Also honored is Oskars Gerts, editor-in-chief of the official daily newspaper of the Latvian government, Latvijas Vēstnesis.

Oskars Kastēns, special assignments minister for social integration affairs, is to present the certificate of recognition to Kukainis.

Andris Straumanis is editor of Latvians Online.

Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

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