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Thread: Libre, Soberana y Independiente - The Storied History of the Central American Navy

  1. #1
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    Libre, Soberana y Independiente - The Storied History of the Central American Navy

    Libre, Soberana y Independiente
    (Free, Sovereign and Independent)



    The Storied History of the Central American Navy


    Welcome to my new AAR, Libre, Soberana y Independiente - The Storied History of the Central American Navy. This will be my first attempt at a Victoria 2 AAR, a game I have had for a while but never really fully acquainted myself with.

    This AAR will also be my first attempt at a history book-(semi)narrative AAR, a kind of hybrid, if you would like to put it that way. I will only go over the bare essentials in terms of economics, politics, diplomacy and ground forces: the large majority of this AAR will cover the creation and handling of a fledgling Navy.

    As I stated before, I have not played Victoria 2 as much as I would like; therefore, my gameplay and overall skill may be a bit sub-par. My understanding of the budget and population folders are not necessarily where they should be, but I will do my best in delivering the highest-quality AAR I can give to you all.

    My primary inspiration for even thinking of writing this AAR was my having read Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy by Ian Toll. Therefore, you will probably see that the early portions of this AAR bear a somewhat similar/striking resemblance to this historical account.

    Settings
    Difficulty: Normal
    Country: United States of Central America
    Starting Year: 1836 (did I need to tell you that?)
    Cheats Used: "cash" if needed; "yesmen" for role-playing purposes



    Cast of Characters
    President Francisco Morazán
    Morazán ascended to the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1830. He presided over an economically and militarily weak country that was surrounded by the powerful countries of Mexico and Colombia. Morazán was elected through his beliefs of the strength of government as well as his free-trade policies.
    Secretary Jaime Torres
    Jaime Torres became Secretary of War following the Scandal of 1832, where the former Secretary of War [Ferdinand Guerrero] was accused of fraud and was impeached. Torres reached his position through his friendship with President Morazán, as well as his distinction as a Captain during the revolution of the 1820s.
    Secretary Antonio Moreno
    Secretary Moreno, born in 1799 and 39 at the time of the creation of the Department of the Navy, was viewed as lazy and carefree by most that knew him. However, having served as a correspondent and [for a year and a half] a sailor in the British Navy, Moreno is the most - as well as likely the only - skilled seaman in Central America.
    Secretary Esteban Vega
    Vega, a master at economics, came to the President's cabinet after having been a banker and entrepreneur in the growing Republic of Central America. Vega's bills, proposed to Congress from 1833 through 1835, helped establish plans of eliminating national debt by actually borrowing more money from foreign countries, which would then be deposited into the National Bank, which would be compiled with the money from protective tariffs and higher taxes to pay off the debt over a long period - a plan borrowed from America's Alexander Hamilton. His plans became part-reality with the Tariff Collection Act of 1836.
    Captain Bernardo Barillas
    Barillas worked as a deckhand aboard trading vessels before he inadvertently brought about the establishment of the Department of the Navy in 1838, with himself as first Captain of the Navy.
    Lieutenant Felipe Rios
    Having been a shoemaker for many years, he signed up without hesitation upon the establishment of the Navy. He was scheduled to be assigned to the first completed vessel of the navy, Suerte.
    Alexander Mueller
    Mueller, born in Oldenburg, was destined to be a man of the navy. Having gained considerable knowledge regarding naval trade, business, and privateering, he immigrated to Central America in 1827. He established an influential trading company that made him rich. At the same time, the Republic was struggling to come up with the foundations of their new-found Navy. For the Navy, Mueller was the missing link. Though he had illegally armed his ships to fend of privateers and pirates, he was granted amnesty after he began development and construction of the navy's first vessels.
    President Carlos Soublette
    President Soublette had been eyeing Central America for a while. He knew that, should Central America be absorbed into the ever-hungry Mexican Republic, South America would be open to Mexican expansion. His proposed alliance with President Morazán drew continental attention, securing strong ties with Central America and defending the independence of both nations.
    President Antonio López de Santa Anna
    Though a proud military commander, Santa Anna lost much of his prestige and public approval following his failure to subdue the rebellion during the Texan Revolution in 1835-36. Looking to regain his vaunted prestige and military skill, many believe he is now laying his eyes on the Central American Republic to the south.
    Last edited by MastahCheef117; 10-03-2012 at 21:15.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

    President Abraham Lincoln of the United States, opponent of the worthy TheLoneGunman and liberator of the State of Virginia
    Currently: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria
    Formerly: Guangxu, Emperor of Manchuria; Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs, Presidents of the Confederate States of America; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; Alice Roosevelt, President of the United States of America; Francis II, Emperor of Austria; Hirohito, Emperor of Japan; Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia; Alexander I, Prince of Bulgaria; Muammar Gaddafi, Leader of Libya; Michel Temer, President of Brazil; and Walter Ulbricht, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of East Germany
    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  2. #2
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    Part I - Beginnings

    It is believed that the ancient Mayan civilization began anytime between 3100 and 2600 BC.

    Following the settling of the Mayan peoples in the Yucatan region, the population rapidly expanded as large urban centers were established and supplied with natural food sources throughout the jungles of Central America, and by large-scale construction and agriculture that could support very large populations. It was at this point in time - roughly 900 AD - that the population of the Mayan peoples numbered in the millions. Long-distance trade reached to places like Teotihuacan and the Zapotec people to the west. Culture flourished as technological innovations spread throughout Central America - most notably, the Mayan calendars and their system of numbers and mathematics.

    Following the collapse of the Classical Mayan civilization and the rise of the Postclassical Mayans in the late 10th century, urban expansion continued, leading to the famous archeological sites and ancient cities of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, among others. However, following a revolt against the Mayan leader in 1450, the Mayan civilization degenerated into multiple city-states vying for control and dominance of the Mayan people and culture, now a shadow of it's former self.



    The large temple at Chichen Itza, one
    of the ancient Mayan urban centers


    The history of a westernized Central America began by the turn of the 15th century. Columbus had landed in the West Indies in October of 1492. His confusion in this event - believing the Native Americans he encountered to be peoples from India - lead to the massive wave of Spanish explorers and Conquistadors to this New World. In 1511, a young man named Hernán Cortés assisted in the conquest of Cuba from it's Native American population. From this, he became a respected member of the Spanish community in the New World. He became mayor of the capital of Cuba, now an official province of the Spanish Empire. And, by 1518, he was looking beyond the horizon, and saw an even greater treasure awaiting him there.

    His "treasure" was to be the Aztec Empire, also known as the "Aztec Triple Alliance". It was a massive empire - larger and more powerful than the Mayans - that harbored a population of millions. They had vanquished all enemies in the Central American and Mexican regions. Large, publicized sacrifices were made often, and were quite gruesome - the sacrificed people themselves would have their chests cut open and their heart pulled out and held high in the air for all to see.

    Cortés set out on his expedition in 1519 and arrived on the Yucatán peninsula believed to be the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl by Montezuma, emperor of the Aztecs. However, the truth was realized very quickly - as Cortés set about on the infamous conquest of Mexico and, therefore, of the great Aztec Empire. For two years he fought battles with limited forces against hundreds of thousands of Aztec warriors. However, he acquired the manpower of the Tlaxcallans, a tribe that had rivaled Aztec dominance and had never fully been annexed into the Empire. Therefore, following Montezuma's death at the hands of Cortés in 1520, the capital city of Tenochtitlan was besieged in May of 1521. The Spaniards, themselves heavily outnumbered, joined forces with tens of thousands of Tlaxcallan allies against the 300,000-man Aztec army. The battle was going horribly slowly for Cortés and his conglomerate force of Native American and European soldiers, until a strain of smallpox sneaked into the Aztec population and did nothing but decimate the native population. This allowed Cortés to once and for all destroy the Aztec Empire and claim Mexico for the King of Castile and Spain.



    Hernán Cortés, conqueror of Mexico

    And, for several hundred following years, Spain ruled Central and South America as their system of colonies. As Spain's power slowly began to wane, and as Mexico declared independence in 1810, a new wave of events were to fall upon Central and South America that would change the regions forever.

    It would all begin with a man named Simón Bolívar.



    Simón Bolívar, orchestrator of the events
    that gave South America independence
    Last edited by MastahCheef117; 05-01-2012 at 01:36.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

    President Abraham Lincoln of the United States, opponent of the worthy TheLoneGunman and liberator of the State of Virginia
    Currently: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria
    Formerly: Guangxu, Emperor of Manchuria; Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs, Presidents of the Confederate States of America; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; Alice Roosevelt, President of the United States of America; Francis II, Emperor of Austria; Hirohito, Emperor of Japan; Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia; Alexander I, Prince of Bulgaria; Muammar Gaddafi, Leader of Libya; Michel Temer, President of Brazil; and Walter Ulbricht, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of East Germany
    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  3. #3
    Viva Bolivar!

  4. #4
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    Interesting, i shall follow thou AAR!

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    intriguing start .... & always good to see an AAR with a very definite goal in mind

  6. #6
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    Part II - The Latin American Wars of Independence

    The Spanish Empire had been decrepit for a long time. Ever since the end of the Age of Discovery, Spain's dominance in the New World had been continually contested by nations such as Great Britain, the Bourbon French, and Portugal (limited to the colony in Brazil in South America). As countries went to war for dominance of this new, unfertilized, wide open land, Spain had discovered entire mountains of bullion. This influx into Spain's coffers were not managed wisely - in the long term, they were spent on foreign equipment for their armies and food and agriculture from overseas. Spain became reliant upon not itself but others for her dominance. Reckless spending brought massive inflation and turned the economy on it's head. As a result, Spanish administration crumbled, especially in the far-flung colonies in the Americas. Although some did acknowledge Spain's gradual decline, it was not fully realized until the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars; Spain's reduction into a puppet state and the Peninsular War ravaged her domestic economy, further damaging her ability to support even herself.



    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. His
    Peninsular Campaign brought about the devastation
    of the Spanish entity during the Napoleonic Wars


    Spain's further economical downfall throughout the 18th century lead to her inability to support her army and navy that was required to patrol and defend her many colonies scattered around the world. Businesses, unable to stay afloat due to a lack of selling products to their potentially biggest buyers, the government itself (which instead purchased it's goods and items from abroad and foreign companies) also played to the downfall of the Spanish economy.

    The final spike was set in place with the Peninsular War itself. Spain's consecutive round of military defeats to a heavily outnumbered British army on their own turf - as well as the famous Battle of Trafalgar in October, 1805 - lit the torch for many peoples in the Spanish American colonies. On the claim that if Spain could not defend herself, then she certainly could not defend for her colonies, many demanded independence from the declining once-World Power. Upon the restoration of King Ferdinand VII in 1814, more called out for freedom from their own country. The Spanish Colonial Empire, which had dominated the New World and the politics involving every war in Western Europe and the Americas since the dawn of the 16th century, was in it's death throes.

    And, determined to give the people of South America what they demanded, was a man from a wealthy aristocratic family named Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco. He became a hero of many people and a sworn enemy of others; all of this under the simple name Simón Bolívar. It is by his hand that most, if not all Latin American countries celebrated their independence due to his efforts.



    A young Bolívar, possibly from the early 19th century

    Across South America, uprisings began starting in 1811. Rebels proclaimed the "Republic of Chile", the "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata", the "Republic of Peru", and "Gran Colombia". Bolívar worked with revolutionaries for years against the small Spanish garrison armies throughout Central and South America. Bolívar, himself a Venezuelan, assisted in the country's fight for independence from the decrepit monarchy. In other countries, like Bolivia and Ecuador, defeat was thrown upon Spanish Royalist forces, including the Battle of Pichincha outside of Quito, Ecuador. In Chile, victory was secured by rebel forces at Maipu, under the command of José de San Martín.

    However, 1821 would be a great success not only for Bolívar and his dreams, but for democracy and the Latin American people. In June, Bolívar, himself a skilled field commander, defeated Royalist forces under Miguel de la Torre at the Battle of Carabobo. The success of this engagement led directly to Venezuela's acquiring of independence. Just two months later, the Congress of Cúcuta established Colombia as a free, independent entity, with Bolívar acting as it's first president.



    Bolívar and his colleagues attending
    the Congress of Cúcuta in August 1821


    Meanwhile, following the Spanish recognition of Mexico as an independent state, the states in Central America gained independence as gifted by the new Mexican government. Now an independent nation - a conglomerate of states, a culture of people, a history dating back to the most complex and culturally significant peoples in the American continents, and a boundless imagination dictated by the actions of the people and the government alone, free to rule themselves as they saw fit - anything was possible for the United States of Central America.

    And it is here that our story begins, in 1836. Possibilities for every nation in the world were boundless; however, the carrying-out of these dreams and aspirations would mean either success or failure. And acting as President - a year into his first term - was the nation's most beloved man, Francisco Morazán.
    Last edited by MastahCheef117; 05-01-2012 at 01:36.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

    President Abraham Lincoln of the United States, opponent of the worthy TheLoneGunman and liberator of the State of Virginia
    Currently: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria
    Formerly: Guangxu, Emperor of Manchuria; Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs, Presidents of the Confederate States of America; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; Alice Roosevelt, President of the United States of America; Francis II, Emperor of Austria; Hirohito, Emperor of Japan; Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia; Alexander I, Prince of Bulgaria; Muammar Gaddafi, Leader of Libya; Michel Temer, President of Brazil; and Walter Ulbricht, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of East Germany
    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  7. #7
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    Part III - A Nation of Entrepreneurs

    The establishment of the Federal Republic of Central America - also well-known as the United States of Central America - in 1821 as a sovereign nation was, at best, a dangerous move for many politicians and upper- as well as middle-class men. A powerful Mexico to the west - at the time under the formal subject of the First Mexican Empire - was vying for control of western North America with a growing United States of America, which had only recently come out bruised by alive in the controversial and bitter War of 1812. To the east was Gran Colombia, just as powerful herself than the Mexican Empire. These regional threats - despite all having fought hand-in-hand for independence from Spain - were now wary of one another, whether planning an invasion or paranoid of one itself.

    Now, the United Mexican States - or the Mexican Republic - was in a bitter war of control over the former Mexican area known as Texas. The Texans, largely American by birth, had declared independence in 1836 and were fighting for their very survival against the onslaught of enemies en route to subdue the rebellious farmers and pasturers.

    This was not a wary and uncomfortable time for only Texas. The Federal Republic was going through troubles of it's own. Despite a gradually growing economy, the government still had a small sum of money; in all, not much was expected if the government had to resort on what little it controlled in the event of economic collapse or full-scale war. Although the Republic had two of the most money-subduing exports of the region - valuable fruits and the precious coffee beans - there were little efforts to export these products at maximum efficiency. Should this be done, the economy would receive a huge boost and profits of not only businessmen and farmers but the government as well would sharply incline.

    Near the border to the First Republic in the west were nearly 18,000 Mexican troops. These troops were, very obviously, not deployed in the region for offensive maneuvers, but were simply for self-defense and acted as a precautionary measure against both rebels and foreign nations alike. As well, to the east of the Federal Republic laid another 12,000 Colombian soldiers in Quibdo. A grand total of 30,000 foreign troops laid on the borders of the small infant Republic, a possible danger and a threat to the entire nation in the event of a war against both nations. This could be drawn up against just 9,000 Central American troops garrisoned just outside of Guatemala City. These troops were, due to a lack of needed funding to the military, not trained as they should, nor equipped in the same manner. In a national emergency, another 9,000 could be drawn from the ranks of reservists - many of these men were farmers, back-countrymen living in the fields, hills, and mountains. This standing army that was the only thing keeping foreign invasion and domination of the republic was under the command of Francisco Morazán. Morazán, himself the President, was also the nation's most skilled strategist and tactician. It was his skill alone at military maneuver that kept the army in shape and able to bring to combat an enemy army. He had taught himself in the art of defense against assault, and knew well to construct trenches, barricades, and fortifications when under pressure and when running on little time. His presence alone would inspire many men to die for him; he was the beloved Chief of the Army and President of the Republic at the same time. He was, in essence, a national hero.



    Francisco Morazán, President of
    the Republic in 1836, and Chief of
    the Army of the Republic


    And, farther off from the borders with Mexico and Colombia was the Caribbean, the United States, and the rest of the Latin American countries. The most noteworthy entity present in the Caribbean in 1836 was the Spanish colony in Cuba. Along with Puerto Rico, it was Spain's last territorial holding in the Americas. Accordingly, they would most likely fight to the very end for these areas.

    The United States was on the verge of making war with Mexico on the behalf of Texas. Her vast industry, coupled with a powerful army and a growing navy, would prove terribly dominant compared to any other nation in the Americas (and rightfully so. The time for the United States to build up an adequate military, a strong economy and an expanding industry was much longer than that of the fledgling Latin American nations, themselves inspired by the USA and her democratic freedoms).

    The remainder of the Latin American countries had just as much time to grow and develop as the Central American States had, and would likely be at equal terms in terms of economical, militaristic, and industrial strengths. But, for the time being, the two most threatening nations would prove to be Mexico and Colombia.



    Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador - the three
    Latin American countries of the Republic's greatest
    concern for several decades following 1836


    Socially, there was much to be done with the Federal Republic. In the south, political machines had taken over; local politicians and business men had bribed the [usually poor] minorities in exchange for their support in the elections. Farther north, local gangsters - usually rich - utilized organized crime to gain profits over the less fortunate in the few urban centers throughout the nation. These outlaws had also pocketed many businessmen in the north, who were more interested in profit for themselves and greed over the concerns of their many customers.

    Despite the flaws that the Nation had - in it's small economy, poorly trained and equipped army, and non-existent industry - they could be repaired easily, time and luck warranting. And, like any other nation, the Republic may have been whole morally, but politically was another story. Deep lines separated the Liberals from the Conservatives and Reactionaries, all of whom were attempting to gain the upper hand in the forthcoming elections in 1840. It would prove to be a great hindrance to the advancement of the nation as one.

    Last edited by MastahCheef117; 05-01-2012 at 01:36.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

    President Abraham Lincoln of the United States, opponent of the worthy TheLoneGunman and liberator of the State of Virginia
    Currently: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria
    Formerly: Guangxu, Emperor of Manchuria; Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs, Presidents of the Confederate States of America; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; Alice Roosevelt, President of the United States of America; Francis II, Emperor of Austria; Hirohito, Emperor of Japan; Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia; Alexander I, Prince of Bulgaria; Muammar Gaddafi, Leader of Libya; Michel Temer, President of Brazil; and Walter Ulbricht, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of East Germany
    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  8. #8
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    Promising stuff. The USCA certainly hasn't got the easiest of starting location, as you've detailed, thus hopefully no one attacks you whilst you are sorting out the economy and so forth. Plus with few truly easy expansion opportunities close at home I look forward to seeing what you have in mind. Consider me subscribed!
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  9. #9
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    Part IV - Defeating a Recession

    President Morazán faced, at the start of 1836, a challenging problem. Disregarding his military concerns - as well as the territorial disadvantage that the Federation was forced to acknowledge at the moment, penned in by two large, powerful, potential enemies - Morazán immediately went out on his plan to fix the nation. With a weak economy, a rapidly growing deficit, and a riled population, the new President was determined to solve the problems of his nation as quickly - and, even more important, as efficiently - as he possibly could.

    He was not the only one to recognize the problems of the nation. Several members of Congress also realized that Morazán could not confront the troubles on his own - he would need support. They gave him their support.

    At the behest of the President, Senator Sebastian de las Casas - Senator of the city of San Salvador, widely considered to be one of the most corrupt areas in the country - issued into Congress the "Expense Reduction Act". This bill would - in order to countermand the deficit - lower the national spending on the salaries of politicians and employees in the heart of the government by a whopping ten percent, as well as lower the education budget by almost eight percent. Almost immediately, another eight congressmen approved of the Act; the reasoning of the support of this bill was that, if it was not passed, the country would fall into so much debt that foreign countries would take advantage of the nation's inability to pay them off and secure control of the country - by military force, if it was required.



    Senator Sebastian de las Casas, Senator
    of San Salvador and the man that proposed
    the controversial Expense Reduction Act


    The Congress of the Federal Republic - controlled by the Liberal party, holding a majority of seats across the nation - went into a virtual civil war over the issue. The Reactionaries immediately came upon the Act like a hurricane on a small Caribbean island. The Liberals, supported by their ideologically and economically similar Conservatives - Congressmen of these parties having almost unanimously supported the Act right off the bat - came under pressure and accusations from the Reactionaries immediately. The Act was apparently "Undermining the prestige of the Nation" and "Ruining the future for our children and our children's children." The Liberals and Conservatives countered by retorting that the Act would be in place until a steady and strong economical surplus could be obtained; this would likely not be in action for more than five or six years, and the reduction of the education budget was viewed as necessary and a non-damaging move towards the schools of the country.

    However, many government employees and politicians - having struggled for their jobs and positions - strictly opposed the Act as it would undermine them and their families economically. Debate raged for several weeks. An Act that was expected to pass in late January underwent debate and controversy through March and most of April. As this was happening, the coffers of the nation continued to rapidly drain as a result of massive trade and agricultural debts imposed by nearby countries. On April 23, all fifty-one Senators from the country - three from each of the seventeen national provinces - made a final vote on the matter. By a strict result of twenty-seven for and twenty-four against, the Expense Reduction Act passed through Congress and became law after approved by President Morazán on the 27th.

    Almost immediately, the deficit that had been piling up daily for many months ended. A trail of money - however small and thin - began to trickle into the treasury. The government had reached a surplus, and the Republicans and the Liberals claimed it was enough. The country could, after several more years, begin paying off her trade taxes and debts from other countries. It was estimated that the national debt would be eliminated by 1860. For the Reactionaries, this was too long of a wait.

    The Reactionaries, in late May, proposed a new act: this one deemed the "Tariff Collection Act". This Act would, if approved, apply a six-percent tax on all imported items from foreign nations. It was believed that doing so would increase the daily trickle into the treasury's coffers by nearly 20,000 pesos. Over a time of just a year and several months, this would permit the government to nullify the highly controversial Expense Reduction Act, pulling the budget of both the administration and the educational system back to it's previous place.

    The Conservatives were stoutly against this bill; to their belief, the trickle of money gained from the two-front victory in Congress in late April was as far the government had to go. To them, the economy was essentially "fixed". However, the Liberals did not agree. If the country was to achieve the levels of prestige and military expertise that nearby nations were achieving - most notably the United States of America - then the economy had to be rapidly expanded. The Liberals suddenly turned against their Conservative allies and stood behind the Reactionaries. The act was quickly passed by a stronger victory of thirty-seven for and fourteen against. The Tariff Collection Act was approved and made law on June 15.



    A Colombian trading brig sailing for Guatemala Harbor in
    late July of 1836. Ships like these now had to pay a tariff for the
    tea and grain they were delivering to their western neighbors


    Now collecting a considerably large amount of money - much larger than any amount predicted by any politician just six months previous - the infighting in Congress had pulled through and been worth it. Before long, the Republic could face her debts and pay a bargaining price for her prestige. However, this didn't mean that all was well. Corruption still filled the streets of every town and every city; the military was destitute, businessmen were becoming richer every day; crime filled the streets of the capital. President Morazán still had quite an endeavor in front of him.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
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  10. #10
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    do like the tone of this, that description of the political infighting around the budget measures was both plausible and gripping

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  13. #13
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    Part V - Quelling a Dispute

    Morazán, having turned the economy right-side-up in the span of just six months, giving the treasury a surplus and the beginning of eliminating the many debts the country owned, now turned to the plight and demands given by the militarists and jingoists, as well as standard pro-military politicians and citizens; the military budget.

    Morazán - a Liberal working in tandem with Reactionaries - began drawing up plans for the bill that was to be proposed to Congress. They had decided on a bill and it was proposed in September; it had been titled the "Military Enhancement Act of 1836". It proposed that the military budget be raised by approximately twenty percent. Although it would not necessarily damage the economy, uproar shook the Senate not just on what the bill would do, but the circumstances of it's very proposal. Many Liberals claimed President Morazán to be a "traitor", having joined with the jingoist Reactionaries against his own Liberal party. Debate now raged. Nobody could argue that the military - 9,000 regulars and a similar number of reservists - required better funding. Most weapons utilized by these troops were age-old, lacking adequate ammunition supplies. Outposts and camps had to be set up across the country to supply and feed the troops while on the march. And, above all else, the soldiers and officers themselves needed a higher salary. However, the debate that did rage was of Morazán's perseverance and struggle to approve both the Expense Reduction Act and the Tariff Collection Act, and then immediately giving Congress a bill that proposed spending thousands of pesos more on the military annually. Now was where the real fighting within the Senate of the Republic began.

    Fighting over the third proposed bill of the year led to high tensions not only in the Senate but among the citizens themselves. With such inaction - as the debating in Congress often degenerated into slandering of one of the three political parties, and even some of the politicians themselves - the citizens demanded either a straight "Yes" or "No" ruling on the Act.

    The results of the citizens' requests was more inaction and bickering within the Senate. It degenerated into such a state that many in the city of San Salvador - including many Reactionaries and Nationalists - began announcing the "Honduras Nationalist Rebellion". Though arms had not been taken up, driving and inspiring speeches given by the common city dweller in taverns and bars and in the streets themselves arose a demand of action - in particular, a majority vote of "Yes" - on the part of the Senators on the Act. Described by a Republican senator as "Militant street-dwelling soldiers wishing for more money for their alcohol", the Nationalists began protesting and even rioting within the central district of San Salvador.

    President Morazán - in an attempt to keep order over the close-to-rebelling city - announced to the people of the "rebellion" to suspend their actions for several weeks as the Senate continued to debate about the hot-topic. If the militarists refused to acknowledge his words, he would order all 9,000 regular infantry into the city. The rebellion did not cease their events, and thus the soldiers were sent to San Salvador from Guatemala City on October 12, encamping in the rolling plains surrounding the city.



    A regiment of the 2nd Division moving
    into their new home outside of San Salvador
    on October 12


    Almost immediately, opposition ceased in the city. The Nationalist Rebellion, it seemed, had virtually disappeared in the face of the resistance. The Senators supporting the Act praised the troops; said a Reactionary Senator, "Do you see what has happened? How the rebels - or would-bes, or what-have-you - have dispersed in the face of these men, these haggard, untrained, unequipped men? Just imagine what these usurpers of our grand Republic would think - would do - in the face of these very same men, had they the most powerful guns, laden with powder and lead, with bright uniform and snug cap, and stout determination and love for the country they have vowed to protect? This shall be what we decide upon; this could be the dreams of us all; this will be the future."

    However, the demands of the dispersed Rebellion struck to the hearts of all the Liberals and Republicans. Many immediately turned to defense of the Military Enhancement Act; in a majority vote, it was deemed that the Senate was ready for the officially voting. On November 17, in a vote of forty-four to seven, the Act was signed into law. Increased spending on the military - the 9,000 regulars and their 9,000 reservist counterparts - and the army was now heading in a new direction.

    President Morazán's worries, however, were not yet over.

    ****



    @ Morrell8: Viva Morazán!
    @ Derahan: Thank you!
    @ loki100: Indeed. Almost the entire AAR will be solely focused on naval exploits.
    @ morningSIDEr: Why thank you I myself am interested at what is thrown my way in this game.
    @ Avindian: Thank you! Now I have to manage two at the same time; hopefully I can do it!
    @ loki100 (2): Thanks, I tried these early political bickering episodes will really only occur early on and at some other stranded parts of the story.
    @ Tanzhang: I didn't believe myself either xD I just had to think of a way to "allow" the Tariff act through Congress.
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

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    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  14. #14
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MastahCheef117 View Post
    President Morazán's worries, however, were not yet over.
    That sounds foreboding. Good to see that both the economy and the army are being sorted out although the constant infighting and bickering between the parties seems to be getting increasingly violent, this spreading to the rest of the nation as seen with the short lived rebellion. Hopefully the USCA's economy and army is enough to deal with whatever is about to cause Morazan worry.
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  15. #15
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    Part VI - Shaping an Army

    Despite the army's "victory" after camping outside San Salvador following the heated pro-revolutionist citizens over the raising of the military budget, the agitation and loud voices of many angered groups across the country did not end. Many still cried out for radical social and political reform that many Senators refused to give. Tension was heating up rapidly across the country. One of the most highly demanded reforms: secret ballots.

    It had been clear for quite a while - even before Morazán's ascension to the office of presidency - that one of the most important reasons bringing about the mass-political and economical corruption filling the streets of cities (particularly in the south) was due to the lack of a secret ballot system. The candidate one voted for was no secret; everyone, if they so wished, could know. In this way, it became much easier for one to be bribed by particular political officials to be swayed in voting for them instead of those they originally intended to vote for. This problem was addressed to the Senate during the Annual Congress on February 19. Ignoring the red faces and horribly-disguised conspicuous looks by several Congressmen - of which Morazán was already certain of committing bribery - a decision to institute the existence of a secret ballot platform was introduced. With sweeping approval from the people of the nation - in particular, those making public outcries against political corruption - it was authorized on March 5.[1]

    Now came to President Morazán's attention of increasing the size of the military. With Morazán's radical economical and political reforms within the past twelve months, many became swayed towards the loyalty for something large over loyalty for self. More began enlisting as reservists in the military - a total of over 6,000 men had formed, volunteering to serve full-time as regular infantrymen. However, more men claimed that they owed their loyalty to Morazán, and not the government. These claims outraged the President, driving him to give a speech in front of the President's Office to a crowd of several thousand in Guatemala City on May 26:

    "To enlist, to be recruited, as a regular soldier, as a full-time man working for full-pay in the army is no simple matter of loyalty - or lack thereof - for the current President. No matter the actions, the beliefs, the speeches of the President, the loyalty of one must lie with country, upholding the ancient values of honor, duty, respect, courage, self-sacrifice, as praised by the Romans far from a millennium past ... a man must fight for the family he was born unto, his mother, his father, his sisters and brothers, his wife, his sons and daughters, his neighbor, his friend and his acquaintance, a stranger down the street, a common man living a hundred miles away, a man with no home in the streets begging for an ounce of currency for himself, a priest, a religious man, a politician, a businessman, ... as these are the people that represent our nation, as they do represent all countries. So fight for them, those people that define ourselves, our culture, our nation, all of us as one... not a man who has done his best, disregarding of his failures, to set things right. And I do believe it is not a politician's place to command the entirety of the army of a certain nation, as it distract him from his duties and impairs his judgment and ability to work at peak efficiency. Therefore, I hereby resign as General of the Federal Army."

    Morazán's riveting speech quickly changed the public opinion from a pro-President to a pro-government sentiment. On June 27, Morazán approved of a bill that immediately passed the Senate that would push forward an extra 100,000 pesos towards the production of military arms and towards military recruitment, training and supply for the next three years, until the end of 1840. All of this money could be allotted by the Commander of the Federal Army without approval of Congress or the President, but simply by their review Morazán's replacement as General of the Federal Army was Diego Guzmán, a skilled defensive commander who had the ability to quickly rally his troops under a banner that would not be easily broken.



    A sketch of General Guzmán, newly
    promoted commander of the Federal Army, in 1834


    However, August 20 caused for concern throughout the Republic with the words from a Mexican emissary. They were proposing a dual military alliance of cooperation and assistance. Congress and the President, not wishing to get involved with Mexico and the Texan War of Independence, yet not wishing to get onto the bad side of the awfully powerful northern state, was hard pressed for a response within a short period of time. With an army barely capable of defending the nation it had been raised by - and desperately in need of the supplies it had been promised - the government denied the alliance proposal. No one was able to predict whether the consequences in the future would be as grave as some worried they would be.

    On September 2, it was decided what the 100,000 pesos were to be spent on - an artillery brigade for the army. Most of the crew were gathered in the San Miguel area and supplies were quickly stockpiled.

    Although still small, and with a brigade and it's equipment under production, the army was going a long way in a short time.

    ****

    [1] - This was done primarily to increasing the attraction of immigrants, and in effect boosting the overall population.



    @ morningSIDEr: Looks like that's over and done with
    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
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    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
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    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

  16. #16
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    Not as foreboding as I had feared! Unless Mexico prove especially insulted at having their offer of an alliance spurned. Morazan seems to be leading the nation well, promoting loyalty to the USCA over loyalty to himself, the army is growing a bit stronger and some political reform enacted, all seems well.
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  17. #17
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    its always hard to know how to play that sort of alliance request. On the one hand it gives you some protection if Mexico gets antsy later but it does drag you into a war with the US and its not exactly guarenteed that Mexico will protect you

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    its always hard to know how to play that sort of alliance request. On the one hand it gives you some protection if Mexico gets antsy later but it does drag you into a war with the US and its not exactly guarenteed that Mexico will protect you
    The USCA normally ends up in the US sphere sooner or later.
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  19. #19
    Colonel MastahCheef117's Avatar
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    Part VII - Forging an Alliance

    The completion of a 3,000-man brigade of artillery in early March of 1838 greatly strengthened the miniscule Army of the Republic. Now numbering 12,000 full-time servicemen, new equipment was being produced and handed out to the men. Ammunition was now stockpiled in large quantities, newly made uniforms were issued out to replace the ragged and tattered clothes of the soldiers, training and disciplinary routines were being instituted, and the overall effectiveness of the troops began to rise.

    On April 1, a diplomat arrived in the Oficina Ejecutiva, asking for an audience with President Morazán. Once he began speaking with the President, he announced why he had come. He was a Venezuelan diplomat who had come to ask the Federal Republic for a military alliance.

    "President Soublette sends his regards, señor Presidente. I have come on his behalf to engage in talks with you and your advisers."

    Morazán, sitting in the chair behind his desk, rose. "I see. I shall send for several of my advisers, then." He motioned to a guard at the door, who then stiffly walked out of the office, closing the door behind him. "What, exactly, are you here for, señor?"

    The diplomat, standing alone in the center of the room, glanced towards the chair opposite Morazán. "May I?" he asked. Morazán grabbed two cigars from his desk drawer, nodded, and drew a box of matches. "Care for one?" he asked, but the diplomat simply shook his head with a simple "No, thank you, señor President." Morazán shrugged, struck a match, lit his cigar, took a breath from it, and leaned back in his chair.

    A moment of silence came and went. It seemed that the diplomat was carefully choosing his words. "Should I start from the beginning?" asked the diplomat, and Morazán, suddenly leaning forward now, nodded affirmatively.

    "Very well," he said, and took a breath. "When President Soublette assumed office not much longer than a year before today," he began, "he knew that something would happen between two countries on this continent. Well, the Americas, anyway," he said. His head danced back and forth on his shoulders as he struggled to pick apart his story. "Not a week ago, he was talking with President Santa Anna of Mexico. With a bit of... persuasion, let's just say," the diplomat said with a hint of amusement, "he managed to convince Anna to give him some information he had locked up in here." He tapped his temple, indicating his brain. "And, he let slip his plans of subjugating the Federal Republic of Central America."

    He let this sink in, the deafening silence that overtook the room now growing to a roar. Morazán nodded slowly, his eyes focused on something in the distance that neither him nor the diplomat could see. His cigar hung from his mouth like a broken arm, and then he blinked and locked eyes with the diplomat. He pinched the cigar between his index and middle fingers and leaned forward, his arms on the desk. "And what does President Soublette have to say about that?"

    "Taking into consideration that the Federal Republic is one of Venezuela's strongest allies to our north," the diplomat said with the obvious intention of creating flattery, "not too kindly, señor President. He's been worrying for you and your nation. Venezuela itself has just come out of a major economic crisis, and is barely hanging on with what we have. It's slow, but we're rebuilding. Soublette was shocked to see how quickly you convinced your Congress to hit the recession over the head so hard that it went running and never came back. Not to mention that Colombia is allied with Mexico, and Venezuela is allied with Ecuador. So," the diplomat glanced out the high window to Morazán's back, "Soublette has proposed a full military alliance between Venezuela and Central America."



    Carlos Soublette, Venezuelan
    President 1837-1839 and 1843-1847


    At this the door to Morazán's office promptly swung open, and standing there was the Secretary of State, Francisco Alvarez, the Secretary of the Treasury, Esteban Vega, the Secretary of War, Jaime Torres, and, in full military dress, the Commander of the Federal Army, Diego Guzmán. Morazán stood, placing his cigar on his desk, and shook hands with each of the four men. The diplomat did the same.

    After sitting down, Morazán motioned to the men. "Please, do tell them."

    The diplomat said to the men in thirty seconds what he had told Morazán in five minutes.

    Alvarez, Secretary of State, spoke up immediately. "I am all for an alliance with the Venezuelans," he said enthusiastically. "It will definitely help our relations with foreign countries and could possibly stave off an attack from the Mexicans."

    "I disagree," cut in Secretary of the Treasury Vega. "Our economy barely escaped an absolute collapse less than two years ago. We are just now beginning to fill our coffers. An alliance like this will cost more money than we could ever afford. It will bankrupt us, and make us all the more easy to conquer."

    Morazán shrugged towards Torres, Secretary of War. "What say you?" Torres shifted, uncomfortable, now in the spotlight. "I could mumble on and on about the state of our army, but I have no such field experience." He stepped back, and General Guzmán came forward. "The Federal Army is in good condition," he noted. "Our supply stockpiles could allow us another 3,000 full-time servicemen, bringing our standing army up to 15,000 men. Estimates report that the Mexican Army numbers around 15,000 as well. With another mob of conscripts that counts in excess of 10,000, we could definitely sustain a war against them for a period of time."

    Morazán nodded. "Very well!" He hopped from his chair, standing straight and tall. "I accept this alliance that has been proposed," he stated profoundly, shaking hands with the diplomat. "¡Larga vida a nuestras naciones, libres y prósperas, una y inseparable!"

    ****


    [Please do excuse me for the long absence: personal matters, school, and a lack of an extended time to write are the primary causes. For those that have also read my Austria-Hungary AAR, I will get around to updating that as well within the next several days.]

    @ morningSIDEr: I'm getting there
    @ loki100: Uhuh. Eventually I'll probably be in quite a pickle with Mexico, and once I am I will hopefully be able to resolve it.
    (if you catch my drift)
    @ Tanzhang: Hopefully not this time though!
    Last edited by MastahCheef117; 23-02-2012 at 03:43.
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  20. #20
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    984
    Part VIII - Starting a Movement

    Bernardo Barillas walked through the streets of Guatemala City; the port bustled with activity of all kinds. Ships came and went, some docked, some sailing into the harbor, some sailing away. Crates were loaded and unloaded, people came onboard and debarked. Newspaper boys sat on corners with stacks of the Guatemala Gazette - "¡El Presidente forma una alianza con Venezuela!

    Indeed, the announcement of Morazán's alliance with the Venezuelans came with mixed reactions from the people. Many hailed him as a diplomatic mastermind, having secured the security of Central America from much larger, power-hungry countries such as Colombia and Mexico. Others claimed him as a weak leader, relying on foreign assistance to keep Central America alive. The real reasons for his decision, however, was unknown to most citizens: the country was on the brink of war. On top of President Santa Anna of Mexico's plans to invade Central America, Mexican privateers had attacked the Central American brig Santa Isabel just several miles out from Guatemala City. Over ten men were killed and the rest of the captured had been brought north to Mexico. The fate of Santa Isabel itself was sad: barrels of gunpowder were collected in the hold, ignited, and blew the ship apart as the privateers escaped.

    The Central American government could do nothing about it.

    In fact, if a fleet of a hundred privateers blockaded every Central American port in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the country would virtually starve to death. The economy would collapse, with traders unable to export coffee and fruit, the lifeblood of the economy, and the country would descend into chaos. Similarly, if Central America went to war with any country that possessed so much as one warship, the nation would see certain doom as its merchant marine fleet was picked apart one-by-one.

    Bernardo Barillas planned to change this.

    He walked into the Army recruiting office, down the street from the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the front, at the desk, was an army officer. His hair was rather short, his shoulders broad, his uniform - a medium blue - clean and smooth, an exemplary serviceman.

    He paid no attention to Bernardo as he walked up to the desk, inquiring, "Excuse me?"

    The man ceased writing on the parchment laid on his desk, and raised his head. "Hello, may I help you?"

    Now was his chance. "Yes, I would like to sign up for the navy."

    There was a long pause. The man was very obviously confused, and then stuttered the words that Bernardo knew would come. "Señor ... there is no navy."

    Bernardo smiled, triumphant. "Exactly my point," he said proudly. He then grabbed a small piece of parchment from his pocket, drew out a pencil, and wrote his name. He then handed it to the army officer: "Keep this," he said, walking out the door, "you'll need it."

    The officer, looking at the paper with a dumbdfoundedness that had never struck him before, soon shot from his chair and ran out the door.



    A portrait of Bernardo Barillas from around 1843

    ****

    "And this is his name?"

    "Yes, señor President. He simply asked to join the 'navy' and then left me his name."

    Morazán smiled. In his hand was the scribbled name of this strange man, a Bernardo Barillas. Standing next to him in his office was Jaime Torres, Secretary of War, who was immediately summoned when Major Lopez had asked for an audience with President Morazán.

    "What do you think?" he asked Torres, leaning towards him. Torres, his hand on his chin, pondered the question for a long while. He then stood straight and looked Morazán in the eye. "I say give him what he wants."

    Morazán laughed. "And so I will!" He pocketed the small piece of parchment and looked towards Major Lopez. "Thank you for informing me of this, Major. You are excused." The Major saluted, to which Morazán saluted back, and excused him.

    Now, it was just Torres and Morazán. "This is surprising," Morazán proclaimed, "the fact that we have existed for quite some time and have not even considered a navy. I suppose it is only natural. Mexico has to rely on privateers - as they just so respectfully did several miles offshore several days ago - and Colombia is barely able to afford the maintenance of several transports."

    Torres snorted. "I must admit, señor President, your reforms were revolutionary. In terms of economical power, I believe it's safe to say that were are the leaders of Central and South America. I could make a venture of splitting my department to create a naval department." Torres sat, thinking for a moment, then nodded his head. "Yes, it could be done. It will take a while, and no doubt the Congress will beat itself to a pulp over allocating the funds for it, but it can be done. Most certainly."



    Jaime Torres, Secretary of War under Morazán

    Morazán smiled. The faith in his cabinet was undeniably strong. He walked over to his desk, sat down, drew a piece of parchment, and began writing. "We shall do it then, Jaime." He began the letter: To a Bernardo Barillas, new faithful Captain of the Navy of Central America .... "We shall have ourselves a navy."

    The future was brighter than ever for the Federal Republic of Central America. Bernardo Barillas had, unintentionally, changed history.

    “My ministers are pro-German, my wife is pro-Italian, my people are pro-Russian — I am the only neutral in the country.”
    ―Boris III of Bulgaria

    President Abraham Lincoln of the United States, opponent of the worthy TheLoneGunman and liberator of the State of Virginia
    Currently: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria
    Formerly: Guangxu, Emperor of Manchuria; Jefferson Davis and Robert Toombs, Presidents of the Confederate States of America; Alfonso XIII, King of Spain; Alice Roosevelt, President of the United States of America; Francis II, Emperor of Austria; Hirohito, Emperor of Japan; Yohannes IV, Emperor of Ethiopia; Alexander I, Prince of Bulgaria; Muammar Gaddafi, Leader of Libya; Michel Temer, President of Brazil; and Walter Ulbricht, General Secretary of the Socialist Party of East Germany
    [18:32:01] <etranger01> At best I can hope for Lesser Satan status
    [21:25:41] <Frymon-[Mailbox]> Obama's policy abroad is like sitting in a corner eating glue
    [21:03:21] <RedNomNoms> Johnson is indeed good at Johnsoning

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