Prologue: Caribbean Sunrise
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    Prologue: Caribbean Sunrise

    25th of March 1938

    5 a.m., 25th of March 1938, Bahia de Cardenas, Cuba. A small boat enters the bay under the cloak of darkness. On board is Huey Long, once the leader of the American Union State, now a wanted war criminal. He is accompanied by his most loyal followers, the elite of his own militia, the Minute Men. Most of them are the sons of Long’s associates in the secret organization called the Knights of the Golden Circle. The Knights supported the Confederates in the First American Civil War and went into hiding after the North won. Since then, they had secretly gathered resources to start a second American Civil War in the former Confederacy. They had tried, but they did not succeed in reviving the dream of an independent South. Now, Long has fled to Cuba with his tail between his legs. He has some friends in the Caribbean country, some very influential friends. They will help him in trying to achieve his dream of a Golden Circle.​

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    On the beach, Huey is received by a man wearing a military uniform. It is Señor Fulgencio Batista, the man who is pulling the strings in Cuba. Batista leads Long to his beach side property, where he pours a drink for his old friend. The two discuss politics in the US and in the Americas in general. Long tells his friend that he is hopeful about the future, although he hasn’t been able to win the civil war, the syndicalists probably won’t win either, now that McArthur can focus entirely on the Combined Syndicates. Batista argues that the US would now probably make sure syndicalism ends not only in the US of A, but also in Europe and that together with the French and the Canadians, they will fight the Internationale. That means that the US will be distracted and that Huey and Batista can do whatever they want in Cuba, but for now, Huey has to lay low. The two talk for the rest of the night, until finally the sun pokes it head just above the horizon. “This is what we call a Caribbean Sunrise, mi amigo,” Batista says while looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico, “but Huey, my friend, I have prepared a bed for you in my beachside villa. Take some sleep and when you wake up, we will give you your new Cuban identity.” Hearing this, Huey’s trademark smile appears on his face and he follows Batista into the house.

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    When Huey wakes up, it’s already noon and the Cuban sun is heating the beach. Huey leaves his room, but forgets to put on his shoes. When his feet touch the sand, he burns them and screams out. “Ai ai ai, I’ll have to get used to this heat!” A soldier comes up to the American refugee and says with a thick Spanish accent: “Follow me, I get you papers, you sign, you become Cuban.” Huey follows him into a wooden building and sits down on the chair in front of the desk after the soldier goes to sit behind the desk. “Your new identity, not very original, Hu Wei Long, son of Chinese business man from Legation Cities and famous American actress. You came to Cuba after Japan invaded, you seek asylum”, the soldier says. “But I do not even look Chinese!” Huey shouts in response. “We have simple solution, Sanchez will take care of you.” Just after he says that, a fat man wearing no shirt enters the room with a pair of scissors in his hands. “What are you going to do?” Huey says somewhat frightened by the sharp tool in the clumsy looking man’s hands. “You need cover against nosy Americans, we give it” the soldier answers with a grin on his face. Before Huey has the chance to say something, the fat man starts cutting Huey’s hair.
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    ONE HOUR LATER
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    Long looks in the small mirror on the desk and sees that his beautiful hair has been reduced to a crappy short hairstyle. The soldier takes out a camera and a hat from one of the drawers and instructs Huey to put on the hat. Huey does so, and the soldier takes his picture with the wall as background. “Picture is for passport, Señor.” With stubbles starting to poke out of his chin, he surely looks rough on the picture. “I can see Chinese traits on your face now”, the soldier says, as he’s signing the new passport. He hands it over to Long and leaves the room with the fat man. Suddenly, Long hears two gun shots from outside of the building and after a few minutes, the soldier returns. “Man was too dangerous with information about you. I will be your guard from now on, I will live next to you and make sure no one finds you”, the soldier says while rubbing his hands in a towel.

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    And so we meet Huey Long in his attempt to start again in a new country with new opportunities. The question is how long his disguise will last.
     
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    Chapter I: Americano
  • SibCDC

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    Before giving you today's chapter, here's a quick call to vote in the 2018 Yearly AARland Year-end AwAARds. If you want to show your appreciation of an AAR that passed by this year, then this is the best way to do that. Voting is easy if you follow the instructions on this page. With that said, let's get back into the 1960s.​

    Chapter I: Americano

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    20th of January 1961
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    STATUS OF THE AMERICAN SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
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    During Q. Roosevelt’s three terms as President of the US, he transformed the US from a night-waking state to the beginnings of a welfare state. He introduced the 8 hour work day, subsidized health insurance, work health and safety regulations and much more. Roosevelt also founded NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, as an answer to the already successful Russian space program. Although there were still conservative members in the Republican Party who opposed all these reforms, the majority of the party accepted the much needed changes and saw the benefit they brought to the stability of the war torn country. The Democrats however were left with a lot of problems, how would they deal with all these reforms? Many of them initially welcomed them with open arms, because of the need to have basic social legislation. But after three Republican presidential terms, the Democrats had grown sceptic of social democracy. They thought that a good economy was the result of individual freedom and as much freedom as possible for companies. They would create wealth, not the government. In November 1952, Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidential elections for the Republicans. He was more moderate than Roosevelt, but did not touch any of his predecessor’s legislation. Instead he, as a military man, focused on housing for army veterans and their reintegration into society. He also set up the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and made an effort to improve American infrastructure by constructing an interstate highway system. During his presidency, the Old Guard right wings of the Republican Party became a bigger problem, but by the end of his term, he had effectively dealt with them, in the words of Eisenhower himself: “I have just one purpose ... and that is to build up a strong progressive Republican Party in this country. If the right wing wants a fight, they are going to get it ... before I end up, either this Republican Party will reflect progressivism or I won't be with them anymore.” Eisenhower managed to get re-elected and continued his program. America’s first steps into space were also happening during this time. But after five terms of Republican rule, it became clear that they didn’t have an answer to everything. The Civil Rights movement became a bigger and bigger factor in politics, with a African-American even securing the Democrat nomination for Vice-President. Also, the growing conflict in Indochina was draining more and more attention of the US Military.
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    NOW BACK TO HUEY
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    After twenty years of living in exile in Cuba, Huey had developed a daily routine. The first ten years he had to cope with the Cuban soldier waking him up during his security checks. But Huey had gotten rid of him and had replaced him by one of his own trusted men. Now he can have a relaxed morning, reading the newspapers from Cuba and the US. The 68-year old man was disgusted by reading today’s newspaper. On the front page, everything about the new American president was covered. Ever since Quentin Roosevelt’s third term as President of the US, the exiled Huey Long had developed a real hatred for American politics. But things like a new president were not avoidable. Long still respected Eisenhower’s presidency from 1953 until 1961, because he proved himself an honourable man during the Second Great War. But now, on the 20th of January 1961, a young democrat from Massachusetts was inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States. And that young democrat was called Robert F. Kennedy. But that was not what was bothering Long. It was the name of the Vice-President which stood out more: Martin Luther King, a black dominee from Atlanta, his Atlanta, the Atlanta which once was the capital of the American Union State. In recent years the rights of Afro-Americans became a real issue in American politics. People like King advocated for equal rights with the Civil Rights Movement. Kennedy, a 35-year old Roman Catholic, was known to support the case and in a bold move, he announced his candidacy for the presidency with King at his side. King got inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s effort of unifying India in a peaceful way and decided to participate in politics. Many political analysers were baffled with the results, but what got Kennedy and King into the White House was more complex than any election before. Their electoral base was mainly the already existing Democrat electorate, this time combined with the black minority, along with American Catholics including the Hispanic minorities. It was a really close call in the end, but what drew many last minute voters to Kennedy was his more pacifist stand on the Indochinese War. His older brother had died in the struggle against Japan, and Robert wasn’t willing to send many more soldiers to die in another country’s war. Nixon was known for his willingness to keep US Forces in South Indochina for as long as the Germans were an active threat.

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    The results of the presidential vote in the Electoral College. Fourteen electors refused to vote for Kennedy due to his support for the Civil Rights Movement (voting for Byrd instead), but Kennedy still had a majority of 300 against 216. The difference in the popular vote was closer, with Kennedy having 113 856 votes more than Nixon.

    Now Huey turned to the pages that interested him more: news from the Russian sphere of influence. Joseph Goebbels, head of state of Prussia, had made another of his famous cabinet reshuffles. It was his way of thinning out political opponents and eventually finding a suitable successor. It was peculiar how national populist dictatorships destabilized after a transition of power. In democracies, the process of an election usually assured the smooth transition, but in a dictatorship, elections were out of the question. Even an internal election in the party could be seen as weak. Goebbels finally got rid of that brute Heinrich Heydrich and replaced him with a women called Leni Riefenstahl. Riefenstahl was an ambitious woman. She was a famous movie director before the war and Goebbels even wrote some reviews about her production back when he was a movie critique. But after Germany’s defeat in the Tripartite War, she became determined to rebuilt the country and one day restore Germany to its former glory, just like Goebbels wanted to. However, for some reason, she ended up in Prussia and started her political career there. As a typical example of a Prussian woman, she was able to sway any man into doing her bidding. Huey hoped he would have the honour to meet her one day. He was sure the connections of the Golden Circle reached all the way into the Russian sphere of influence, and maybe all the way to Moscow and Konigsberg.

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    In other news, this time from Asia, Louis Ferdinand von Hohenzollern, son of the deceased Kaiser Wilhelm III and pretender to the German throne, was captured by the Viet Cong in the ongoing conflict in German Indochina. With Louis Ferdinand’s capture, it became clear that the German colonials were losing the war. US involvement in the conflict was limited, but still substantial. The US, under Eisenhower, had sent a small army to aid the Vietnamese Democratic Forces (VDF) and to capture German war criminals. And then there was also the Viet Cong, the syndicalists who were opposed to both the Germans and the VDF. Huey finds this whole Indochinese War an overcomplicated thing, but it is a distraction for the US and that means that soon, his plans can go into motion. Soon, Long would get the opportunity to take a spot in the Cuban House of Representatives in local elections. Batista’s coup in 1952 had halted the presidential elections, but parliamentary elections still continued as usual. Batista’s coup was in fact a result of Long’s scheme for power. Starting from 1944, Cuba had had some presidents who increasingly became corrupt. Batista used his popularity and his influence to take control and to promise a Cuba without corruption. The Cuban populace was easily convinced of his good intentions, but Long knew that this was the beginning of a dictatorship in the Caribbean. The future smiled upon Huey, it was time to step out of the shadows and once again enter the stage of politics in the Americas. And tomorrow, his friends of the Golden Circle would come to discuss their next move.
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    LATER THAT DAY
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    Agent Jameson had followed the rumours all the way to this remote village on the Cuban coast. People here spoke of an ‘Americano’, an American living amongst them, rarely showing his face. It was amazing how much you could get out of people, simply by posing as a traveling salesman in the latest American commodities. He quickly found the remote beach mansion the locals described. He took out his binoculars and looked for any movement, while lying on the ground. As he spotted a man through one of the windows, he immediately recognized his target. The rumours were true, Long was alive and well, right here in Cuba, right under the nose of the United States. He had to inform his superiors as quickly as possible. But before he even had the chance to stand up, he felt a foot pressing on his back. “Game’s over, who sent ya?” a man with a Southern accent said. A moment later, everything went black.

    On the other side of the world, in Indochina, German High Command was in a state of complete chaos. Their leader had just been captured by syndicalist scum and they had not received any news from him yet. It was unclear whether they would use the Kaiser to force peace on the Germans or if they would just outright kill him. Anyway, they couldn’t afford waiting, as the syndicalists began a new offensive. A young diplomat called Ernest von Gibbenstein took the initiative as he sent a telegram to the Chinese Emperor, begging him for support against the anti-monarchist anarchists just south of the Chinese border. Playing into his fear for being overthrown, von Gibbenstein managed to convince Emperor Puyi that anarchists in Indochina could easily cross into China and rally the Chinese population against their Emperor. Emperor Puyi agreed to providing ‘volunteers’ for the Germans to fight against the syndicalists.

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    Indochina is embroiled in a three way war between the syndicalist DRI (north), the democratic RI (south) and the remnants of the German Empire in the middle.

    ----------
    Initially, I didn't plan to include the conflict in Indochina into this AAR, but because in OTL the Vietnam War was so important for the Cold War, I had to include it. This means however that I'll have to figure out how US involvement would be in this timeline and if the same dynamics would still play as in OTL. What do you think the position of Russia and the US are on this conflict? Keep in mind that the German remnant is essentially an enemy to both of the superpowers.

    As for the US presidential elections of 1960, I decided to spice things a little bit up. I kept the outcome in votes (for example, the map I used is the map of the actual 1960 presidential elections). In this timeline however, JFK died in the war in the Pacific, and his much younger brother, Robert Kennedy, has taken up his role. Martin Luther King was inspired by the great Gandhi, who in this timeline was much more politically active than in OTL. I don't think a black Vice-President is unimaginable in the 1960s, certainly not in this timeline, as a Second American Civil War came with some very progressive ideas on the victor's side. All in all, I'd say this timeline's Kennedy has as much of a chance to become President as our JFK.
     
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    Chapter II: Old Cuban
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    Chapter II: Old Cuban

    21st of January 1961

    Early in the morning, Huey overlooked his beach estate from his porch and saw his friend Fred parking his car near the guard tower. After a couple of minutes of clearing through security, Fred shook Huey’s hand. “How’s it going, Hu Wei?” Fred said, making fun of Huey’s fake identity. “Well, Frederico, you know, nothing new under the sun”, he answered. Fred smiled and said: “Haven’t you heard the news yet? About Kennedy and King?” Huey was confused, why would Fred smile while talking about them? Fred read the confusion on Huey’s face and quickly explained: “This is exactly what we need. A highly controversial and divisive presidency. This will keep the American public opinion away from Cuba and D.C. will be occupied with themselves. It means that now is the time to set our plan in motion!” Huey understood what this meant, Fred had already sent the order. It meant that soon, Huey would pull the strings in Cuba, not from behind the curtains, no. This time, he would openly assume control over the Caribbean country. Fred went on: “I’ve already ordered some men to put up your campaign posters all around the district for the coming elections. And if influencing the people’s minds doesn’t work, we can always influence the voting booths. I’m sure Batista can pull some strings to make sure you get that seat.” “I am not sure however, how long Batista can pull the strings. There have been reports of unrest. Especially the Castro brothers have posed a threat, but for now our men have been able to keep them at bay,” Huey replied, “And one of my men found an American agent on the property yesterday. I’m afraid they’ll soon know what we’re doing here. He’s been dealt with, but his superiors will wonder what happened to their agent.” “I’ll double the guards and we’ll put up a fence, that’ll keep them out for now”, Fred replied. For the rest of the morning, Huey and Fred discussed their plans.

    In the meantime, Fulgencio Batista discussed the state of the Cuban economy with his most trusted advisors. Cuba certainly was not an industrialized country if compared to a nation like Belgium, but there was a lot of potential in the country. Industry was mainly concentrated around the capital Havana and in the province of Guantanamo in the south. Havana itself had 2 civilian factories, 1 military factory and a coal plant providing energy for the capital. In the province of Las Villas, just east of the capital, there was a civilian factory and a coal plant. In the southern province of Granma, there was a military factory and south of it, in Guantanamo, there was also a civilian factory and a coal plant. There was still a lot of room for improvement, especially in the centre of the island. But due to the nature of the economy, building more factories would be a slow process. The Cuban civilian economy directed goods towards consumption instead of construction. Of the 4 civilian factories, only 2 could be used for building new factories. One of Batista’s advisors pointed out that focusing on economic policy might improve the situation.

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    With an industrial effort, the nation could greatly improve its research into industry and construction technology, making it easier to expand the economy. With every construction or production effort, either a civilian or a military factory could be build every 50 days. At this rate, the economy would flourish within a year and allow future construction projects to be finished faster. In addition, the government could also spent some time and research into resource extraction, but at the moment, Cuba had enough resources to provide its industry with raw material.

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    After the report on the economy, Batista overlooked the unrest dawning in Cuba’s universities. Especially the Castro brothers have been known to stir up the students in Santiago de Cuba. And even some ranks in the army were suspected of having sympathies for their cause. Batista’s position depended on two things: the support of the rich American exiles and the support of the army. If one of those two things would for some reason cease, Batista would need to look for an escape. One of his closest advisors, Andres Rivero Aguero, came up with the idea of invading another nation, using a foreign scapegoat always works to unify a divided nation. The army would be too occupied with fighting a war, so they wouldn’t have the time to organize a revolution. Moreover, they wouldn’t even be inside Cuba during an invasion. But now the question was: which foreign country could they invade without angering the US? Then one of the military advisors proposed Haiti. The nation had aggressively invaded the Dominican Republic in the 1930s and reports of oppressed Hispanics came in every day. Liberating Hispanic brothers and sisters would be the ideal casus belli, and so Cuba prepared for war. It would take approximately 210 days before the first soldiers would be able to liberate the island of Hispaniola from those imperialist Haitians.

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    An invasion of Haiti would require a better army though, as the current armed forces only consisted of two divisions. Expanding it with another 4 divisions would ensure victory over Haiti, which according to Cuban intel, only had 1 division. But to have a successful invasion, Cuba would need a navy to secure superiority in the Caribbean Sea. Luckily for Batista, he could rely on some old American Union State ships from the Civil War. They were way out of date, but they would do against the meagre Haitian convoy fleet. And so the old Cuban and his entourage discussed their plans for the rest of the day, unaware of the unrest that would soon engulf the capital.

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    Thought I slipped some gameplay into this AAR this way. Batista is preparing Cuba for a war, while Huey Long is preparing to enter the Cuban stage of politics.
     
    Chapter III: Blood and Sand
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    Chapter III: Blood and Sand

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    22nd of January – 19th of August 1961

    On the 15th of February 1961, parliamentary elections were held in Cuba. Huey Long managed to get “elected” for the province of Matanzas. But just as the results came in, unrest began in Havana. The Castro brothers had called their followers to action if Batista’s party would get elected in the capital. In a matter of hours, hundreds of people were gathered outside the presidential palace. Fulgencio Batista was in a precarious situation. He needed to escape the capital and return later with reinforcements. That is why he called in a favour from his friend Huey. Under the cover of the night, Batista fled the capital with his entourage and found refuge in Huey Long’s beach house in Bahia de Cardenas. There, he would meet with the American exiles to discuss how to act next. The next couple of days, the unrest worsened. Havana was now truly in a state of turmoil. Revolutionary anarchists were preventing people from going to work and even more importantly, the newly elected parliament didn’t have the chance to convene yet. The Castro brothers had assumed control over the city and Fidel, the eldest of the two, proclaimed himself the new president. To prevent further escalation, Huey proposed to use his Minute Men, his private army which now consisted of nearly a thousand men, to end the anarchy in Havana.

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    Fidel Castro triumphing in Havana.

    On the 26th of February, Huey arrived in Havana with his troops. The anarchists were completely taken by surprise, as they only looked out for the Cuban army and didn’t expect a private force this big. In three days, the streets of Havana were swept clean again. Huey was welcomed as a liberator, the ordinary people could return to their normal lives again. Only the political elite looked with suspicion upon this new member of parliament with his big private army. Long opened the first session of the new Cuban parliament on the 4th of March, getting himself elected as Chairman. The Castro brothers’ little uprising turned out to be just the thing Huey needed to gain power in the capital. After a few weeks, as all the ring leaders were arrested, except the Castro brothers who fled to the Cuban countryside, Batista finally returned to Havana as President of Cuba. His position, however, was heavily weakened as both the American exiles and the leftist anarchists had shown what they were capable of. The future of his presidency was uncertain. Batista could only watch from the side-line as Long and his puppets in parliament passed law after law to improve the status of the American exiles in Cuban society. At this rate, nearly half of Cuba’s industry would be in the hands of the Golden Circle. But Batista could not do much because of two reasons. Firstly, it was the Golden Circle who kept him in power, without Huey’s intervention back in February, Batista wouldn’t have been president anymore. Secondly, the industry greatly improved in the hands of American capitalists. They ensured the production of guns for his army and were thus vital in Batista’s invasion plan for Haiti. One thing was for sure though, the Knights of the Golden Circle haven’t infiltrated his entourage yet. He can still trust on those men and women to inform him truthfully and help him write policies. But for now, he had to be wary of his surroundings.

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    Huey Long making his way to a parliamentary session in Havana.

    By the end of July 1961, Batista had grown completely paranoid. In every law Huey Long pushed through parliament, he saw a conspiracy of the Americans, in every rural unrest, he saw the Castro brothers and their revolution. He decided that he had enough of both. On the 27th of July, Batista called his most trusted friend, Andres Aguero, and asked him: “Could you arrange a hit on Huey Long? I’ve had enough of his parliamentary actions and his conspiracies to fill my Cuba with American imperialists.” Aguero replied, somewhat confused: “Are you sure? I mean if the Golden Circle would find out, you’re basically a dead man.” But Batista was determined, according to him, an assassination was the only solution to this problem. Aguero nodded and said: “If that is what you wish, then I’ll arrange the assassination.” “O and there’s one more thing,” Batista said as Aguero was leaving his office, “I want to witness his death, so I can be sure it is done properly.” And so the next week, on the 2nd of August 1961, Batista and Aguero met Long on a sandy beach under the cover of the night. Aguero had arranged Batista’s bodyguard, which he presumed to be the assassin. “Why did you want to speak to me, old friend?” Huey began. Fulgencio replied: “You have to understand, amigo, that this could have been avoided, if you had stayed hidden in Bahia de Cardenas.” “What do you mean, Fulgencio? Is something wrong?” Huey asked. “I’m sorry I have to do this, Huey”, Batista replied. “No, I am sorry”, Huey Long said as he nodded to Aguero. Before Batista could look confused, his blood was already sinking into the sand. His most trusted friend had just stabbed him in the back, literally. As the world faded away before Fulgencio Batista’s eyes, so did his life. “Get rid of this body before the sun comes up”, Aguero said quite emotionally to the bodyguard. “It’s alright. You did the right thing”, Huey said to comfort his new ally. “Cuba will prosper without this paranoid old fool. All he is now is blood and sand.”

    U6ISxom.png


    The next day, all the Cuban and American newspapers rumoured about Batista’s death. When his body was found in a back alley in one of Havana’s poorer districts, everyone jumped to the conclusion that he was murdered by a common criminal. As Chairman of the House of Representatives, Huey Long, or as he was known to the broad public: Hu Wei Long, automatically assumed the position of President of Cuba. As a somewhat democratically elected President, Long enjoyed a relatively large popular support. The Cuban people hoped he would end corruption in the country and return Cuba to its democratic status. And for the first few weeks, it seemed that Huey was doing this. One of his first acts as the new President was to open an investigation into Batista’s coup d’état of 1952. As a result, many of Batista’s former allies were arrested and prosecuted for high treason. What was in fact a way to deal with possible political opponents, was seen by the public as a large anti-corruption operation. Now that Huey had enough popular support, he could continue Batista’s invasion plans for Haiti, and so on the 19th of August 1961, he declared war on the imperialists in Haiti.

    93HKRiJ.png


    The next day, President Kennedy of the United States proclaimed in a public statement that the Cuban aggression in Haiti defied all international law and he urged Long to halt all military activity or face the consequences. Kennedy did not mention which consequences however. In a meeting with Lyndon B. Johnson, director of the CIA, Kennedy expressed his concerns: “This Long person is really suspicious. I mean he comes out of nowhere, assumes control over Cuba and declares war on another independent nation. Also, the fact that nobody seems to be able to get an up-close photograph of this man makes me believe we are dealing with a dangerous individual.” “Mr. President, we have reason to believe this Long is in fact Huey Long, exiled leader of the American Union State. If this is to be true, he needs to be taken to an American court to be trialled for his crimes against the American people”, Johnson said. “We can’t just abduct the leader of another country, even if he’s an American criminal. We’ll have to find something else to get Long into an American court. What do we know about any resistance movements against Long in Cuba?” the President continued. “There is a substantial group of revolutionaries led by Fidel and Raul Castro who want to overthrow the Cuban government. With enough supplies and financial support, the Castro brothers could pose a real threat against Long”, Johnson replied. And so the President decided to covertly support the Castro brothers in their resistance against Huey Long.

    XpUTzCB.jpg


    ----------
    And so Huey Long is finally in control of Cuba, but the US Government is onto him and the countdown has begun until the final showdown between Long and his American compatriots.
     
    Chapter IV: Dark ‘n Stormy
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    Chapter IV: Dark ‘n Stormy

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    20th of August – 5th of October 1961

    Huey sat together with his military advisors in the presidential palace as the invasion commenced. The general goal was to eliminate any Haitian resistance as quickly as possible, to avoid a possible intervention by the US. If the US were to send a fleet or even simply set a no-fly zone over Haiti, then the invasion would fail. To ensure victory, two separate groups would land on two different spots as quickly as possible. This way, the Cuban forces would most certainly overwhelm the Haitian coastal defenses and two separate forces have a higher chance of running a blockade than one. The Cuban intelligences had informed Long that the two Haitian divisions were protecting Port-au-Prince and Port-de-Paix in the northwest of Hispaniola. The way was open for a Cuban invasion of the south.

    8buUZXl.png


    In the meanwhile President Kennedy did exactly as Long had suspected, he sent a naval detachment to keep the Cubans from invading Haiti. Without formally declaring war on Cuba, Kennedy hoped to scare off any invaders by using gunboat diplomacy. But Long was persistent and he still sent out the order to the invasion forces. And so on the most unexpected moment, on a dark and stormy evening on the 26th of August, the Cuban forces landed to the south of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. They had successfully outmaneuvered the American naval detachment by using a decoy. Boats seized from fishermen had served as camouflage for the marines, while the real landing crafts were simply sent to another part of Haiti to confuse the Americans. The Haitian division which was guarding the capital quickly engaged with one of the Cuban landing forces, soon joined by their comrades from Port-de-Paix. This meant however that the road was open for the other landing party to try and surround the capital. One of the divisions got ordered to do so, while the other was ordered to head for Santo Domingo, the old capital of the Dominican Republic.

    UqPZbF3.png


    While the Cuban forces had successfully held their ground on the landing grounds, one of the Haitian divisions had headed up north to counter the Cuban encirclement maneuver. On the 31st of August, Cuban forces entered Santo Domingo and were welcomed as liberators. In Port-au-Prince, the Haitians were beginning to feel the pressure of the Cuban forces, as the battle over the capital had begun. In the meanwhile, the American naval blockade continued. It made supplying the Cuban troops in Haiti very difficult, but not impossible. Using knowledge of old smuggling routes and with a little help of Fortuna, supplies still made their way to Haiti.

    JIKwbO4.png


    The same day Santo Domingo was liberated, Port-au-Prince fell and the Haitians who defended it, fled north. Due to a fast response, the Cubans were able to cut them off from the rest of the country. The territories of the Dominican Republic now lay open for grabbing, while the remainder of the Haitian army was encircled near Port-de-Paix, which now served as the headquarters of the Haitian government. In the meanwhile, the US Congress had voted in favor of material support for the Haitian government, but by this time, it was already too late. Outnumbered and outgunned, they prepared for the final stand. The American democracy had shown it was not capable of intervening quickly enough to stop an invasion with such a speed.

    DldcECp.png


    To make things worse, Cuba’s army had driven the Haitian forces back to just two states by the 13th of September. The Haitian army had grown with one division, probably due to the American supplies, but that was not enough to prevent their eventual loss to Cuba. By the 27th of September, the last stronghold in Port-de-Paix surrendered and the next day, a peace treaty was signed. The US had lost its ‘legal’ ground for the blockade, as Cuba and Haiti technically weren’t at war anymore and a blockade would now seem as an aggressive stance rather than helping a foreign nation in their defense.

    PumqBxo.png


    As a result of the war, Cuba had successfully annexed the whole island of Hispaniola. To suppress local unrest among both the Haitians and the Dominicans, the Cuban army was spread out. In just over a month, Cuba had been able to conquer an independent nation, but it was only the beginning of unrest in the Caribbean. Even though Kennedy now moved his naval detachment from the Windward Passage (between Cuba and Hispaniola) to the Bahamas in the north, American presence in the region was still felt.

    FF9cZsn.png


    Not only from the US, but also from the Caribbean Federation, there was opposition to Cuba’s aggressive expansion. The Federation saw Haiti as one of its closest allies, certainly after the Federation left NATO in the 1950s. As a result, they were more than willing to come to the defense of their Haitian allies. And so on the 5th of October 1961, the Caribbean Federation declared war on Cuba. Huey Long had not expected this, but it could turn out all right for his Cuba, as they were now in a defensive war so to speak, and the US would be less likely to join in on the conflict if it could be seen by Russia as Cuba trying to defend itself. This made Long actually think about opening diplomatic relations with Moscow, who knows what benefits it might bring. It certainly made an American blockade out of the question, as Cuba was now not the aggressor, but the victim of a war. It made some people in the US think about diplomatic solutions to end the unrest in the Caribbean.

    soK3Vot.png


    ----------
    That last part was unexpected but nonetheless, it could be useful for further expansion for Cuba.
     
    Chapter V: Smith and Kearns
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    Chapter V: Smith and Kearns

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    6th of October – 27th of December 1961

    While the conflict in the Caribbean expanded to the Federation, US President Robert Kennedy was preoccupied with an internal issue. Some Republican Senators had heard of the possibility of Hu Wei Long and Huey Long being one and the same and had openly attacked the President for his incompetence in the matter. How could it be that Long had remained hidden for so long? They called for an immediate intervention in Cuba. Some wanted an actual military invasion, more moderate Republicans wanted to send material and financial support to the Caribbean Federation, as they had done with Haiti. Kennedy had also gained intel from Johnson about Long possibly having established contact with the Russians. If this were true, they had to continue with caution. An outright invasion might trigger a response from the Kremlin.

    The issue couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Congress was heavily debating on the Constitutional Amendment to ban the use of poll tax as a requirement for voting in federal elections. Poll taxes were used by southern states to discriminate African-Americans and poor citizens and to prevent them from voting. To pass the amendment, a two-thirds majority was needed in both the House and the Senate. This meant respectively 290 and 64 ‘ayes’ in Congress. Although the Democrats had a majority in both the House (262-173) and the Senate (62-34), they didn’t have a two-thirds majority. It would take some Republican cooperation to get the Amendment passed. With support for Kennedy dwindling in light of the recent revelations about Huey Long, he wasn’t even sure if all Democrats would support the issue. If Kennedy wanted to let this Amendment succeed, he would have to campaign on the street. This, however, would heavily impact his ability to intervene in the Caribbean conflict.

    bbh94wb.jpg

    President Kennedy campaigning for the 24th Amendment to ban the use of poll tax.

    In the meanwhile, Long was briefed on the war with the Federation. With the entire Cuban army in Hispaniola, Cuba was open for an attack. Also, unlike Haiti, the Federation had a considerable fleet, a leftover of British and French Imperial presence in the Caribbean. His military advisers urged Long to consider an invasion of Jamaica as quickly as possible, to avoid a strong Federation presence so close to Cuba. With no US naval presence in the region, the plans were drawn to invade the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Respectively on the 29th and the 30th of October, the islands were conquered. Except for some local garrisons, there was no real opposition to the Cuban army. The soft underbelly was secured, now it was time to look eastwards. In Hispaniola, an effort was made to recruit the Hispanic Dominican population. Although Long had expected a larger number, around two thousand volunteers turned up at the enlistment points. They would come in handy to suppress their Haitian neighbors.

    iCXhcMo.png


    Cuba’s next target was Puerto Rico, a Hispanic region but also once a colony of the US. Invading the island wasn’t without risk. And that’s why Long decided to also invade the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is where he came into the waters defended by the US fleet. By distracting that fleet, Puerto Rico could possibly be secured. And so on the 25th of November, Puerto Rico was struck. Just a few days later, the invasion force of the Turks and Caicos Islands also took off, but quickly came into contact with the US fleet. Instead of turning back and admitting their defeat, the Cuban forces managed to land on Crooked Island to the west, giving them a foothold in the Bahama’s. Upon receiving the good news, Huey Long decided it was time to switch over to a war economy, further speeding up the construction of Cuba’s military industry. It became clear to President Kennedy that he needed a solution for this problem, and quickly.

    SLJUEtu.png


    That is why on the 26th of November he summoned Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican Senator from Maine, and Carroll Dudley Kearns, a Republican Representative from Pennsylvania, to the Oval Office. Kennedy knew Smith supported his efforts for the 24th Amendment, but Kearns was a whole other case. Kearns was more conservative and was more interested in resolving the conflict in the Caribbean. Kennedy hoped that he could convince Smith into gathering support for the Amendment in Republican ranks, in return for giving Kearns and some other important Republicans a seat in a new Commission for Peace in the Caribbean. Smith agreed, Kearns was more reluctant. But then Kennedy pointed out that he had made plans for a peace conference between Cuba and the Caribbean Federation mediated by the US. Kearns saw the opportunity to make himself popular by bringing peace to the Caribbean and accepted the deal. The following weeks, Smith and Kennedy heavily campaigned for the 24th Amendment, until on the 27th of December, the constitutional ban on poll tax was passed 82-17 in the Senate and 311-92 in the House. The political campaign had been successful to say the least. But while Kennedy was busy with internal affairs, Long had now managed to expand Cuban occupation to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico and was even beginning to gain a foothold in the Bahama’s. The peace conference was Kennedy’s last hope of stopping Long’s aggression, without using violence.

    ----------
    And so Long has succeeded in taking more land, while the US was busy with internal issues. Huey's luck won't last forever though, he'd better start looking for a way out of this conflict.
     
    Chapter VI: Churchill
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    Chapter VI: Churchill

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    28th of December 1961 – 2nd of January 1962

    On the 28th of December, a day after the 24th Amendment passed, the Commission for Peace in the Caribbean convened for the first time. It had been more than two months since the declaration of war by the Caribbean Confederation. The Commission consisted of 5 members, 2 Republicans and 3 Democrats. Unbeknownst to anyone but the Golden Circle at the time, one of the Republicans was one of their Knights. Edgar Willard Hiestand, a Representative from California, was put there in order to force Huey Long’s agenda onto the peace conference, even before it had begun. Most importantly, Hiestand had to convince the other Commissioners that ceding land to Cuba wasn’t all that bad, in fact it was safer to do so than leaving Long with nothing. The logic he used, went as following: Long had used pre-existing Cuban and Hispanic nationalism to justify his war against Haiti. Interfering in the peace deal between Haiti and Cuba might turn that nationalism against the US, in addition, the Commission had to mediate a peace deal between the Federation and Cuba, not alter an already existing deal. This logic convinced Hiestand’s Republican colleague (Kearns), but could not keep the Democrat majority from opposing this. They argued that Cuba had conquered Haiti without justification and that the status of Haiti should be included in the peace talks. Because unanimity was needed to formally start a peace conference, it looked like the Commission was going nowhere.

    csXjgrn.png

    Members of the Commission for Peace in the Caribbean.

    When the President was brought in on the latest news regarding the Commission, he was disappointed. The Democrats and Republicans had failed to reach an agreement. Kennedy had hoped that a biparty agreement would settle the whole thing, but now he was forced to come up with another solution. And that is when his overseas guest arrived. “Ah Sir Churchill, how is your father doing?” the President asked. “That old chap is doing as always, painting and talking about how he personally saved Britain from annihilation,” Randolph Churchill replied, “I hope I’m not taking too much of your time by paying you a visit, Mr. President.” “Au contraire, my friend. You’re just the one I need,” the President said, “With your contacts in the Caribbean Federation you’re the ideal spokesperson for this matter.” “Well I do know a fair thing about Caribbean politics. If I may suggest, maybe I can act as a mediator in this conflict. Cuba, and especially Long, might be hostile towards American interference, but it is in their best interest to look towards peace. With my contacts in the Confederation, I may be able to persuade them to ask for a cease-fire”, Randolph suggested. “An excellent idea,” Kennedy replied, “I will send telegrams to the Cuban and Caribbean ambassadors. Now if you don’t mind, I would like you to mediate that peace in Havana itself.” Randolph Churchill looked worried and confused. Why would Kennedy specify that he wanted the negotiations to take place in Cuba? As if Kennedy could read Randolph’s mind, he continued: “I want you to personally meet Long and see if he is indeed Huey Long. In addition, I want you to observe his security and his daily routine. Where does he live? Where does he hold his cabinet meetings? For weeks now, the agents of the CIA have tried to infiltrate Long’s surroundings, but each of them failed, now dead or missing. We are planning to send one last agent to Long, to take him out, but we do not want to leave a mess. If anyone, and especially the Russians, can trace this agent back to us, we could have an international conflict on our hands. You as a ‘neutral’ peace mediator could easily take note on some important details for us. Those details could be vital for the success of this agent’s next mission.” Randolph agreed to Kennedy’s proposal, but he wasn’t keen on putting himself in harm’s way.

    adZqBtj.png

    President Kennedy (left) welcoming Randolph Churchill (right) to the White House.

    The 50-year old Brit looked out on the vast waters of the Atlantic Ocean. He was on a mission to bring peace, or at least try to. Just a few days ago, President Kennedy had asked him in Washington D.C. to mediate the conflict between Cuba and the Caribbean Federation and to find a peaceful solution. The Caribbean Federation had no ear for the Americans and even Britain could not beg them to reason. Since their ‘break-up’ with NATO, they had looked to local alliances. Now they have to deal with the consequences. President Kennedy hoped that Randolph, with the prestige of his father, could bring both parties to reason. Randolph Churchill saw this as an opportunity to show the world that he was just as capable as his father in diplomacy. But more importantly, he also came to find out more about Huey Long. On the 31st of December, Randolph arrived in Havana, where he met with President Long and the delegation of the Federation to discuss peace. It was clear from the start what Long wanted from the Federation. They had started a war against them, so they had to pay for it. In a bold move, Long claimed the entire area of the Greater Antilles, including Belize. Upon hearing this, ambassador Jones was outraged, especially because Belize, his home country, belonged to the claims. Randolph overlooked the situation, it didn’t look good. Neither party wanted to make concessions. He had to find something they could both agree on. As the war wasn’t decided yet, it was also difficult to determine a victor who would get the most. Churchill was willing to do some concessions to Long, so he could get closer to the man. And so Randolph proposed the following: Cuba would get all Hispanic regions and Haiti.

    MDQGd2T.png

    Huey’s claims (purple circle) versus Randolph’s proposal (orange circle).

    But Long wasn’t satisfied, he wanted more. He knew Belize was out of the question, but he still wanted Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as they were the soft underbelly of Cuba. He pressed his luck. Randolph had expected this and called of the negotiations for today. He proposed that both delegations should enjoy the festivities for the end of the year, and return after a day off with a renewed spirit and a better mood. Churchill hoped to get a personal invite from Long to celebrate New Year’s Eve, and as expected, Long did exactly that. It was probably just an attempt to get Churchill to give in to his demands, but unbeknown to Long, Churchill came with his own agenda. And so Long and Churchill spent New Year’s Eve in Long’s presidential palace. Randolph took mental notes on every little detail regarding the security. Where guards were stationed, which entrance they took, even how many doors were between the entrance and Long’s private quarters. Despite the fact that Randolph was now truly in the lion’s lair, he kept his nerves at bay. When the celebrations were over, Churchill had what he wanted, information on Long’s security and a proposal from Huey Long. In return for his territorial claims, Long promised a financial compensation and eventual independence for Haiti.

    fj8FDdP.jpg

    The Presidential Palace in Havana, where Long has chosen to reside since his ascension to power.

    On the 2nd of January 1962, the Cuban and Caribbean delegations came back together to further discuss peace. The delegation from the Federation was surprised to learn Long’s proposal. They were certainly not closed towards the idea of financial compensation, as their economy could use an inflow of cash. Losing Puerto Rico would not be a disaster, it was already one of the poorer regions in the Caribbean, but Jamaica was a different case. The island was a valuable trading port in between Belize and the Guyana’s. They demanded that Cuba ensured free trade on Jamaica for the Caribbean Federation. Reluctantly, Huey Long accepted their counter-proposal. And so both delegations signed the Treaty of Havana.

    o38CIF0.png

    Outcome of the Treaty of Havana.

    Churchill could now return to Kennedy with some good news at last, but on the other side of the Pacific, the Indochinese war was escalating once again. German Imperial troops, with Chinese support, had managed to close in on the Vietcong capital of Hanoi. While losing terrain in the south, they still managed to escape defeat by the hand of the US and the Vietnamese Democratic Forces. Whatever the next move will be, the US will have to make a choice whether Cuba or Indochina was a priority.

    ----------
    This chapter was partly inspired by the relation between RFK and Randolph Churchill. They actually knew each other and even died on the same day. Moving forward from here, the US will start to make the first moves against Huey Long and the Golden Circle (which is still a secret organisation the US does not know about).
     
    Chapter VII: Agent Orange
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    First of all, I'd like to start with wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, although I'm a bit late. This chapter was partly inspired by the popularity of spy movies in the 1960s, hope you enjoy it.
    Chapter VII: Agent Orange

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    c7n3lLr.png
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    5th of January – 26th of May 1962

    Helicopters flew over Michael’s head, probably heading towards the German stronghold in Lak Sao. It was rather strange, 20 years ago Michael’s father was fighting against the Germans in Germany, now Michael was stepping into his footsteps and was fighting Germans in Indochina. Michael was a special agent of the CIA, tasked with figuring out where the big targets were. Most importantly he had to determine who was worth hunting and who wasn’t. His fiery temper and bright orange hair gave him the nickname ‘Agent Orange’. Coincidentally, it was also the chemical agent the Germans were planning to use against the American and Vietnamese soldiers after they’ve successfully dealt with the syndicalists in the north. Agent Orange’s latest target was Ernest von Gibbenstein, who came onto their radar after a visit to China. At least Ernest was his target until today, when Agent Orange received new orders from the White House itself. Someone high up in the echelons of power was more than eager to use Agent Orange’s talents of finding war criminals. Ernest would have to wait. When Michael saw the name in the report, his interest had reached a height it had never reached before. Huey Long, that was his new target, or as he liked to call himself now: Hu Wei Long. The President of Cuba of all people was a wanted war criminal, an enemy of the American people. Michael was amazed at how Long could have remained hidden for so long. Agent Orange knew something more was going on. After he read the report of Randolph Churchill, who just a few days ago met Huey in person, Agent Orange knew this would be a difficult task. The orders specifically said “abduct not kill”. Michael would have to use everything in his capabilities to achieve this mission.

    mtYPBt0.jpg

    The Indochinese conflict was the first major war which saw the use of helicopters in such a large scale.

    On the 10th of January, 5 days after Michael received his new orders, he took the plane back to the US, to meet with Randolph Churchill and discuss his report. By the time the plane landed, the news of German victory in Hanoi had already reached Michael’s ears. Agent Orange had always thought that this war would be the end of the US’ credibility towards its allies, but now that trouble was stirring in the Caribbean, Michael thought that Cuba might be even worse. The meeting between Randolph Churchill and Agent Orange was a short one, not many new things were said. Michael was particularly interested in Churchill’s mention of “a Prussian looking gentleman standing by Long at all times during negotiations, but never saying anything”. Churchill found the chap oddly interesting and especially out of place. Amongst all the Hispanic and American advisors which were helping Long making decisions, there was this weird German guy who only talked to Churchill once, in order to offer him some cigars. After this meeting, Michael presumed that Huey still had some followers in the US, possibly holding some kind of public function. After some digging, Agent Orange found it oddly suspicious that Rep. Hiestand’s proposals in the Commission for Peace in the Caribbean were so similar to Huey Long’s demands. After some more digging, Michael found several things linking Hiestand to obscure organizations, often born out of the collapse of Huey Long’s American Union State. Michael decided it was time to talk to Rep. Hiestand himself.

    y93Etzr.jpg

    Edgar W. Hiestand was the first breadcrumb leading to Huey Long in Cuba.

    It took a week for Hiestand’s schedule to clear up for a meeting with Agent Orange, who had arranged to be listed as a journalist. Finally, on the 18th of January, Michael was walking through the hallways of the Capitol Building in DC, heading towards Hiestand’s office. Suddenly a young man came around the corner, running, and bumped into Agent Orange. Hastily apologizing, the young fellow disappeared as quickly as he had come around the corner. Michael thought nothing of it at that moment, but when he arrived at Hiestand’s office, this changed. The door stood wide open and everyone passing by could see Hiestand’s lifeless body laying on the floor. Michael alerted security, after he had a good look at the crime scene. He definitely ran into the killer mere minutes ago. Agent Orange went back to the spot where he bumped into the young man. Looking around the area, he easily found a clue: a metal seal which probably fell out of the young man’s coat when they bumped into each other. Michael had never seen something like this before. An inscription on the coinlike object said: “Great Seal of the K’s of the G.C. 1858”. Michael had no idea what this thing was, but maybe an expert would know.

    2bfMyJh.png

    The metal seal which fell out of the young man’s pockets.

    And so Agent Orange took the weird coin to a history professor he knew. When he came out of the office after an hour or so, Michael had a working theory. The professor had recognized the coin as the seal of the Knight of the Golden Circle, a secret organization dating back to the First American Civil War. This new information shed a whole new light on the Second American Civil War. According to Michael, it were these Knights who gave rise to Huey Long and the American Union State and now they were doing the same in Cuba. But to what end? What was their eventual goal? Overthrow the US government? Or something even more obscure? Agent Orange did not know. The only way to find out was to go and capture Huey Long in Havana. It was time for the next stage in Michael’s mission.

    aLixoOF.png

    Flag used by the Knights of the Golden Circle.

    It took a while for Michael to get forged documents which would get him into Cuba. But finally, on the 20th of February, her arrived in Havana, the Cuban capital. Wandering through the streets, Agent Orange could feel the centuries of history. From a Spanish colonial town to the capital of an independent nation, the city had always kept its characteristics. Michael came prepared. Thanks to Randolph Churchill’s intel, he knew where and when to look for Huey Long. Once he got an eye on target, all he had to do was tranquilize him, take him to the US embassy and his job was done. The CIA would then take care of the rest and within the month, Huey Long would be all over the American news as he was being trialed. Agent Orange made his way to the presidential palace, hiding his gun underneath his long coat. It took little effort to find one of the many entrances. Two soldiers were guarding the door. Agent Orange would need to create a diversion and so he gave some money to a boy passing by to kick one of the guards in the knee. The guards started chasing the boy, leaving their post behind. Now Agent Orange could enter without any trouble.

    DeQWMnt.jpg

    Huey Long was somewhere inside of the big Presidential Palace.

    With Churchill’s directions, Agent Orange could easily find Huey’s office. The guards along the way proved no challenge, there were enough corners to hide behind. But closer to Huey’s alleged location, the type of guards changed. Michael could only assume that these were Minute Men, members of Huey Long’s private army. These guards stayed on their positions and did not follow a certain route. Agent Orange would have to distract them, but this time there were no boys he could pay to kick the guards in the knee. Agent Orange had no other choice, he took out his gun, put the silencer on it and shot the guards hindering his way. He could not leave them just like that on the floor and so he dragged them into a closet further down the hallway. Now the door to Huey Long was there for Michael to open.

    GGTunHT.jpg

    Huey Long, seemingly expecting Agent Orange to enter the room.

    “Ah, Michael I presume. I have been expecting you”, Huey Long said. Agent Orange was surprised, how did Long know he was coming after him and how did he know his name? “I see you’re quite surprised that I know who you are. You must know, Michael, that the Golden Circle has connections far into the White House. There’s no stopping us, even if you kill me, our work will be continued. Cut off one head and two more will appear. You’re just a puppet in a bigger game, but you can be so much more. Join us and you will become much more than you’ll ever be as an agent in the CIA”, Long continued. “I’ll never join you and your goons. Whatever you’re trying to do, it won’t work. You are hereby under arrest. I’ll take you to a US court. If you don’t cooperate, I’ll have to put you down”, Agent Orange replied. “O poor soldier, always following orders. You do not see what is ahead of us. The Golden Circle is the future, I have seen it and you will see it too”, Long said. At that moment, three guards entered the office. Michael had his back to them, it was already too late. In a matter of seconds, the guards had pushed Agent Orange onto his knees. “You are hereby under arrest for trespassing and attempt at murder of the Cuban president. You will face trial in Cuba and you will spend the rest of your life in prison in Cuba, that is if you don’t change your mind”, Huey Long continued.

    xEA3Yjm.jpg

    This could be Agent Orange’s life from now on.

    Several months had passed since Michael’s trial and the following imprisonment. He had spent a lot of time thinking about Huey Long’s words. Not about his proposal to join him, but about his connections to the White House. There was a mole inside the highest echelons of US politics. Agent Orange would have to find a way to break out of this cell and somehow get information about everyone who had ties to the Knights of the Golden Circle. That first part was easy, he had been observing the guard’s routine for the last couple of months and knew every detail about the lay-out of the prison. Maybe if Long had spent more funding on Cuba’s prisons, Agent Orange wouldn’t have had the opportunity to escape. But by the 26th of May, Michael had successfully made his way back to Washington, where he would continue his work in secret for the next few years.

    ----------
    This is the chapter where the true villain has revealed itself, although their plans are still unknown. The next chapter will mark the beginning of the endgame for the Golden Circle.
     
    Chapter VIII: Moscow Mule
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    Chapter VIII: Moscow Mule

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    27th of May – 30th of September 1962

    Huey Long had established relations with the Russians for a while now. Already when Randolph Churchill was brokering a deal in Havana in January of 1962, a Prussian delegate was present. The Prussian gentleman was a Knight of the Teutonic Order, an organization similar to the Minute Men. It was the paramilitary branch of Goebbels’ party in Prussia. Upon learning about the Golden Circle, the Prussian hoped that one day the Teutonic Order could grow to similar power, infiltrating other countries and influencing their politics. Prussia was a handy gateway to Moscow. In the footsteps of the Prussian delegate, a Russian delegation came to Cuba by the end of May. On the 27th of May, they had a meeting with Huey Long. Not much was discussed. Long was interested in their offer of cooperation between Russia and Cuba, but nothing in particular was shared. In turn, the Russians invited Long to Moscow to discuss the matter even further. And so in June 1962, Huey Long made a state visit to Russia, meeting the Russian Vozhd in the process. Boris Savinkov had died at the age of 74 in 1953 so now Nikita Khrushchev was the new Vozhd. Khrushchev was a strange case, much like Zhukov during the Civil War, he had made some bad choices, but proved himself during the war against Germany. Over the years he climbed the ranks in the state bureaucracy, until in 1953 when Nikita averted a crisis by quickly assuming control over the party and the state.

    5073rLh.jpg

    Russia’s new Vozhd since 1953: Nikita Khrushchev.

    Long and Khrushchev met on the 13th of June to discuss the nature of Cuban-Russian relations. They both held the belief that they could do something that would benefit both countries. Russia’s biggest worry at the moment was the fact that the US had stationed missiles in Cyprus and mainland Greece, missiles with enough range to reach Moscow and St.-Petersburg. Cuba, and especially Huey Long, on the other hand was worried that a US invasion would occur. And so Long and Khrushchev talked about the possibility of stationing short- and medium-ranged missiles in Cuba, along with a considerable amount of Russian troops. These missiles would give Russia the same striking capability as the US had in Byzantium and would hopefully scare off any American invasion. The two leaders came to an agreement: Russia would send missiles and troops to Cuba under the cover of an agrarian expedition. Huey Long could return to Havana, reassured that his back was covered by the Russians.

    xNDfioo.jpg

    A propagandist map depicting the range of Russian missiles in Cuba.

    6uKZgGC.png

    Huey Long and Nikita Khrushchev after their meeting.

    Meanwhile in Africa, June of 1962 became known as the ‘Month of Independence’. While the small amount of British colonies had gained dominion status in the late 1950s, French Africa remained under firm control of Paris. This led to several unrests, most notably Tunisia’s declaration of independence (1956) and the Second Tuareg Rebellion in Algeria, which was still unresolved. As a result of this rebellion, the French Assemblée nationale instated Charles de Gaulle, veteran from the Second Weltkrieg, as Prime Minister of the King’s Government. Charles de Gaulle sought to resolve unrest in Africa and independence referendums were held in all major French colonies. All turned out in favor of decolonization and in June of 1962, the process of independence was finished. However, de Gaulle failed to resolve the question of Algeria, which resulted merely in a cease-fire between the Tuareg Confederation and French Algeria, a dominion-like state largely controlled by the Pieds-noirs (Algerians of European decent). After June of 1962, Africa looked like this:

    E3kN7dZ.png


    The sudden independence of so many African countries set the stage for further decolonization in Africa. The Belgian government increased funding and research for the Belgian-Congolese council, which was now working on a constitution for an independent Congo. Calls for independence also became more vocal in the South African puppet states of Namibia, Zambia and Rhodesia, as well in British dominions such as Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. The matter of the African continent was briefly discussed between Long and Khrushchev. Both agreed that Africa could become the next theater of the Cold War, where both the US and Russia could involve itself in civil wars or rebellions. Especially the Portuguese refusal to withdraw from Africa would result in a vicious conflict which saw African nationalists backed by Russia fighting against the Portuguese regime which was backed by the US.

    HDDmNo0.jpg

    A Portuguese military parade in Luanga, Angola.

    In July, Russian specialists in construction of missile sites arrived in Cuba as ‘agricultural specialists’, but instead of irrigating local fields, they set up hidden rocket sites in the Cuban jungle. When these sites were finished, missiles and soldiers started pouring into Cuba. Russian container ships, later known as Moscow Mules, would bring them to Cuba under the cover of trade and material support. Missiles were concealed and hidden by palm trees and troops could be disguised as foreign work forces or specialists. Nevertheless, as early as August 1962, the US suspected that something was going on in Cuba. Spy planes were sent out at an increasing rate in order to learn about Huey Long’s plans and his ties with the Russians. Combined with information from Fidel and Raul Castro’s growing resistance movement, a full on crisis would soon engulf the world, nearly bringing it to the brink of war. The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was in the making.

    TEy80qT.jpg

    By the beginning of September, the US had gathered substantial information on rocket sites in Cuba.

    ----------
    A Happy New Year to everyone (even though at the moment of updating this AAR it's still 2018 for me). This chapter is filled with a lot of events. I also for the first time used a new method for creating maps. I think they look way better than all my previous ones. My choice to keep Khrushchev as historical leader of Russia is mainly because he as a person has an important role to play in the next chapter. Other leaders might have chosen a different path, but Khrushchev chose to act against his advisers in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
     
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    Chapter IX: Cuban Missile Crisis
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    Chapter IX: Cuban Missile Crisis

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    1st of October - 31st of December 1962

    It all began on the 14th of October 1962, when an American U-2 spy plane flew over Cuba and took 928 photographs. The next day, the CIA analyzed the images and identified medium range ballistic missiles. The CIA informed the Department of State, but it was not until October 16 that the photographs were shown to President Kennedy. Kennedy soon summoned the National Security Council in addition with some key advisors. The group gathered there became known as the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOMM). Notable members of EXCOMM were Vice-President Martin Luther King, CIA Director Lyndon B. Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and General Maxwell D. Taylor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EXCOMM quickly began with discussing the several options the US now had.

    General Taylor began with stating the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously agree that an invasion of Cuba with all our might is the only option available. The Russian State will not attempt to stop us because they can not defend Cuba from a full-scale invasion.”

    Kennedy skeptically replied: “They, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can't, after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don't take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Europe. We know Huey Long has ties to the Prussians in Konigsberg and to the Russians in Moscow. An attack on Huey might trigger a Prussian attack into their former German territory, backed by Russian ‘volunteers’. No, we must proceed more carefully, after all, we don’t want our allies at NATO to think of us as trigger-happy cowboys.”

    Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, agreed with the President: “The missiles stationed in Cuba do not alter the military balance in favor of Russia. We still have around 5000 strategic missiles, while Russia only had 300. The 40 extra ones in Cuba do not give them the upper hand.”

    QrIJGNf.jpg

    President Kennedy with Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, by his side.

    Once again General Taylor, speaking for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took a more aggressive stance: “If it is not the military balance they are changing, then it is the diplomatic one. The Russian missiles in Cuba are effectively a gun in our back. You said it yourself, you’re afraid of going after Huey Long because he might trigger a war in Europe. More importantly, credibility among our allies and the American people is at stake here. If they see a strong Russia which can force its will upon the US, they will think Russia is the world’s strongest power even though militarily they are not. We must act with strength, as that is the only thing the Russians respect more than anything.”

    The other members of EXCOMM all agreed that the diplomatic balance was severely shifted, but they could not agree on how to act. Then, Vice-President Martin Luther King spoke out. He had been silent during the entire discussion, but now he felt that he could contribute on the matter. “I suggest we gather more information before we act. Invite the Russian ambassador, ask him about the missiles and their purpose. In the meanwhile, our spy planes can continue gathering information on the amount of Russian troops and missiles in Cuba.” “You suggest we wait and do nothing?” General Taylor said with a lingering resentment. “I suggest we learn more about the situation before acting on it. A good soldier knows which battle he’s fighting in, General”, the Vice-President responded. And so it was agreed. Kennedy saw the Russian ambassador the next day, while U-2s were taking more photographs of Cuba.

    jBiG0Kp.jpg

    Example of a photograph shot by a U-2 spy plane.

    On the 21st of October, EXCOMM convened again, this time with more information. The Russian ambassador had told the President that the missiles were merely intended for Cuba’s defense and would only be aimed at the US if they were to attack the island. In the meanwhile, two helicopters had crashed while on secret missions over the Gulf of Mexico. Three options were now considered: a targeted hit by the US Air Force on all rocket sites in Cuba or a naval blockade preventing further missiles from reaching Cuba. Alternatively, the US could ‘ask’ Castro to rise up, giving Huey Long something else to worry about, but the President feared that Russian presence on the island would doom the uprising. General Taylor, as always, favored the more aggressive stance of using the Air Force. But Kennedy was too worried that Russian casualties would provoke retaliation. The other option, a blockade, also proved somewhat of a problem. According to international law, a blockade was an act of war. During the Cuban-Haitian and Cuban-Caribbean war, the US had issued blockades, but with the consent of the Organization of American Nations. Now, the US had to be more careful, as Russia was now directly involved. That is why President Kennedy came up with a plan. Instead of a blockade, the US would instate a quarantine around Cuba to prevent Russian convoys from bringing more missiles. Once again, he asked the consent of the Organization of American Nations, who agreed and some nations even offered to send their own fleet, afraid of Cuba’s aggressive expansion of the last few years.

    uryXT68.jpg

    The quarantine would prevent ships carrying missiles from reaching Cuba.

    On the 22nd of October, after having informed all major world leaders, including Khrushchev, President Kennedy addressed the nation on the radio: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Russian State on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Russian State. To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life.”

    At the same time as the speech was on the radio, all US troops got the directive that would put them on DEFCON 3. In the following days, the world reacted with both fear and hope. Several newspapers in France and Germany accused the Russians of actively seeking death and destruction in Europe. Pope John XXIII even sent a telegram to Khrushchev, urging him to “do all that is in their power to save peace”. The crisis escalated even further when on the 24th, the Russians broadcasted their answer to the world. They saw the US quarantine as outright piracy and an act of aggression and their convoys were instructed to ignore it. On the 25th, the US requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, while the US military was put on DEFCON 2. In the meantime, the quarantine was challenged by Russian ships succeeding in outrunning the US Navy. The situation seemed at a stalemate, Russia would not back down and neither would the US. Huey Long prepared for the worst. Of course he did not want nuclear war destroying the US, but the Americans could easily invade Cuba and destroy everything he had worked for. Long realized he had lost control and that the Cuban Crisis had transformed into a stand-off between the US and Russia. The only thing he could do was keep his army ready for the worst. On the 26th, Long ordered all anti-aircraft weapons to fire on the US Airforce if they came in groups larger than two.

    nWeC3hf.jpg

    Pope John XXIII, concerned with peace in Europe, urges Khrushchev to stay on the path of peace.

    That same day however, the crisis took a turn. Khrushchev had sent a letter to Washington for the President himself. The letter made Kennedy realize that Khrushchev was as afraid of war as he was. Khrushchev used the following words in particular: “Mr. President, we and you ought not now to pull on the ends of the rope in which you have tied the knot of war, because the more the two of us pull, the tighter that knot will be tied. And a moment may come when that knot will be tied so tight that even he who tied it will not have the strength to untie it, and then it will be necessary to cut that knot, and what that would mean is not for me to explain to you, because you yourself understand perfectly of what terrible forces our countries dispose. Consequently, if there is no intention to tighten that knot and thereby to doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let us not only relax the forces pulling on the ends of the rope, let us take measures to untie that knot. We are ready for this.”

    On the 27th, Radio Moscow broadcasted Khrushchev’s proposal for a solution to the Cuban Crisis. Russia would remove its missiles and military personnel from Cuba if the US would remove its Jupiter missiles from Byzantium and Italy. Khrushchev had ordered this to be broadcasted, to much opposition of his fellow party members, who still believed that an aggressive stance would bring the Americans on their knees. While all seemed to be calming down, a US aircraft was shot down over Cuba, killing its pilot. Huey Long had made the first blood as it was he who ordered anti-aircrafts to be on high alert. President Kennedy, however, chose to not act too soon. He would only strike if Cuba were to shoot down another aircraft. And so the first blood also remained the only blood shed in the Cuban Missile Crisis. That same day, the world was nearly thrown into a nuclear war, when American depth charges hit a Russian submarine equipped with nuclear weapons. That sub was permitted to use its nuclear arsenal if it was attacked. The use of the nuclear weapons, however, required unanimity among the three officers aboard. Because officer Vasili Arkhipov objected, the world was saved from mutually assured destruction.

    fYTBNuI.jpg

    The Russian sub which was hit by depth charges, forced to the surface.

    On the 28th, after heavily debating with EXCOMM and with the Byzantine and the Italian Prime Ministers, President Kennedy accepted Khrushchev offer. The Missile Crisis was seemingly at an end. In the following days, the world press admired both Kennedy and Khrushchev for their ability to keep their heads cool. The US removed the Jupiter missiles from Italy and Byzantium, while Russia retreated from Cuba. Huey Long was disappointed. With all his attempts to have some kind of safeguard against the US, he nearly destroyed the world. He realized now that Cuba had no equal voice in the global conflict between Russia and the US. His attempt to use Russia for the interests of the Golden Circle had failed. Now unrest was boiling hotter than ever and Russia was not willing to stick out its neck for Long again. As a result, the Golden Order decided that for a while, they had to not cause any further trouble. The message was spread, also among loyalists inside the US.

    ----------
    The world lives to see another day, Long's plan to play out the US against Russia has failed. Now, it is just a matter of time for Huey Long to meet his end.
     
    Chapter X: Apocalypse Now
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    Chapter X: Apocalypse Now

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    1st of January – 14th of December 1963

    The Missile Crisis of last year made President Kennedy realize something. Huey Long had to be dealt with, and fast. He was not only a danger to the US, but to the entire world. Kennedy was informed that a nuclear conflict between the US and Russia would result in 1/3rd of the world’s population dying, mostly in the US, Russia, Europe and Asia. This made Kennedy think about a proposal which had been going around in Washington for several months now; the establishment of a Moscow-Washington hotline. This hotline would prevent escalation as a cause of miscommunication or lack of communication between the US and Russia. The ability to quickly talk to the adversary would lead to a quicker understanding in future conflicts, according to proponents of the hotline. The hotline had long been opposed by many politician, both in the US and in Russia, but the Cuban Missile Crisis pointed out that slow communication could cause global annihilation.

    gkm6VjW.jpg

    Operators of the Moscow-Washington hotline in the Pentagon.

    In June of 1963, the Hot Line Agreement was signed in Geneva between Russia and the US. The hotline between the Pentagon and the Kremlin was now a reality. Another result of the Missile Crisis was the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of August 1963. The US, Russia and several other countries agreed to ban the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water, effectively limiting the tests to underground ones. An unexpected effect of the Missile Crisis, but not an unwelcomed one. A further achievement of Kennedy during 1963 was his success in gaining popular support for NASA’s space program. On the 12th of September, President Kennedy delivered his famous ‘We choose to go to the Moon’ speech in Houston, Texas. NASA was already working on the Artemis Program since Congress approved Kennedy’s proposal back on the 25th of May 1961, but popular support would work in favor of Artemis’ timeline. Sadly, Kennedy would never see the first man on the Moon.

    hPBrUaz.jpg
    A large crowd listening to Kennedy’s speech about the Artemis Program.

    On the 22nd of November 1963, sad news arrived from Dallas, Texas. The unthinkable had happened, the President of the United States had been assassinated. The culprit: a 24-year old man called Lee Harvey Oswald. What was unknown to the public at that moment was that Oswald, in fact, was a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle. He did not act on Huey’s orders however. Long knew that killing the President would make Vice-President King the next President and that was the last thing he wanted. Nonetheless, Kennedy was dead and as a result, Martin Luther King was sworn in as 36th President of the United States and in fact the first African-American President. Chaos had erupted in DC after the news of the President’s death became public. Thousands of people came onto the streets to protest against violence. In other parts of the country, violence erupted, as if the Apocalypse had begun. From all over the country, African Americans also flocked to the capital in support of their new leader, the first black man to become President.

    ewTmWY4.jpg
    President Kennedy mortally wounded in Trade Mart in Dallas, Texas.

    Meanwhile, in Cuba, Huey Long held a crisis meeting with the High Council, the highest ranking Knights of the Golden Circle. Ever since the Missile Crisis, Long could no longer act without the full support of the High Council. Also, Long was beginning to show signs of his age more and more. The Council gathered in the presidential palace to discuss the assassination and what to do about it. Oswald had acted alone, but if it were discovered that he was a member of the Golden Circle, it would quickly lead back to Cuba. To make matters worse, Oswald had also shot a police officer and had been taken into custody. It would be difficult to solve this issue, but then one of the newer members of the inner circle, Fred Trump, who had been with Huey ever since they escaped the US in the 1930s, came up with a solution. Essentially he wanted to send an assassin after the assassin. And so on the 24th of November, Jack Ruby, a Jew from Dallas who had somehow found himself in debt with Trump, shot Oswald as he was being escorted from the basement of the Dallas Police HQ to an armored truck. Immediately overwhelmed by police, Ruby began his play. He told everyone he was devastated by the President’s death and that this was his way of redeeming the city of Dallas. Trump’s plan worked, no one could trace Oswald back to the Golden Circle now that he was dead and Ruby wasn’t even a member.

    VqN0huX.jpg
    Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.

    In the following week, the new President, Martin Luther King, held a speech in front of the statue of President Lincoln, in front of an audience consisting of both blacks and whites and televised live all over the country and the rest of the world. The speech instantly became famous, as it somewhat settled the unrest in the country. In his speech, King announced that Lyndon B. Johnson, the director of the CIA, would become his Vice-President and he promised he wouldn’t run for re-election, instead focusing the last year of the presidency on investigating Kennedy’s assassination, healing the country’s racial divide and ending Huey Long’s rule in Cuba and bringing him to justice in America. Although his standpoints were relatively moderate in this speech, one part revealed the real purpose of King’s short but strong presidency.

    I say to you today, my fellow Americans, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the states sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    Due to King’s use of the words ‘I have a dream’, his speech quickly became known as the ‘I have a dream’-speech. Even though King had lower approval rates than Kennedy, he had managed to unite the country, but more importantly Congress, to find a solution to the problem in Cuba. Finally, after failed naval blockades, failed negotiations and a failed abduction attempt, King set a plan in motion that would finally set in motion the downfall of Huey Long and the Knights of the Golden Circle. With the stroke of a pen, King approved a massive shipment of weapons and material to the rebels in the southern Cuban countryside.

    7hPXKUs.jpg
    Martin Luther King addressing the nation in front of Lincoln’s statue in Washington D.C.

    ----------
    “And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Aeschylus
    In memory of Robert Francis Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
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    Chapter XI: Cuba Libre
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    Chapter XI: Cuba Libre
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    15th of December 1963 – 2nd of July 1964

    King’s signature set in motion the end of Long’s dictatorship in Cuba. This time, Fidel and Raul Castro began their uprising in the rural south of Cuba. Far away from Havana and Huey Long’s private army, they were way more successful in gaining a foothold. On the 15th of December 1963, they officially declared war on the Cuban government. The Cuban Civil War had begun. The atmosphere in Havana was very tense. Minute Men were roaming the streets day and night, silencing any opposition to Huey Long’s regime. By now, it had become obvious to the people of Cuba that their president was not a Chinese-American immigrant called Hu Wei Long, but that he was in fact the infamous Huey Long. There were those who remained loyal, mainly land owners and capitalists, who often benefitted from American investors and partnerships, but the working proletariat and the agrarian population were sick of Long’s capitalist regime.

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    Fidel Castro identifies himself with Marxist-Leninist theories about government and the economy. Let’s see if he is more successful than the failed Lenin himself.

    Also, for the first time since the Interbellum, Central America became unstable again. In 1927, a syndicalist uprising caused the transformation of Guatemala into Centroamerica. The new country continued to expand with expeditions into El Salvador in 1928, resulting in the annexation of the country in 1929. In 1930, Centroamerica annexed Honduras after a brief war. In 1931, Nicaragua and Costa Rica formed the United Provinces of Central America to counter the aggressive expansion of Centroamerica. On the 15th of May in 1938, their worst fears came into being, Centroamerica declared war on the United Provinces. Unexpectedly though, the United Provinces managed to defeat the syndicalists, and on the 15th of March in 1939, peace was signed resulting in the integration of Centroamerica into the United Provinces. The United States of Central America were born and for the next twenty years, a relatively stable government would enrich the middle classes of Central America. But during the 1950s and 1960s, increasing unrest grew among the agrarian and native population in the region. Inspired by the Castro Rebellion, the Yucatan Republic was declared on the 16th of January 1964. With official recognition of the US, the indigenous Mayan people, under the leadership of La Platean guerilla fighter Che Guevara, were able to fend off the Mexican army. Mexico, as a quasi-puppet of the US, accepted the American proposal, in which Yucatan would become independent, but had to take on a part of the Mexican debt. In the United States of Central America, unrest was mainly aimed against the very powerful Somoza family, who came to dominate the country’s politics over the years. Inspired by Castro, many agrarians took up weapons against the government. However, the rebel faction remained small during the 1960s and would become more prominent in the 1970s, with the US also being involved more in the conflict under Republican leadership.

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    The Yucatan Republic and their flag.

    As a result of the Cuban Civil War, Haiti seized the opportunity to declare independence on the 4th of January. The Dominican Republic, Jamaica an Puerto Rico remained under control of local Cuban militias.

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    In the meantime, Castro mobilized his followers and started the offensive on Huey Long’s army. On the 9th of January, the first real fighting occurred between Castro’s syndicalists and the Cuban Army. At the head of these initial advances was the brilliant strategist Camilo Cienfuegos.

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    Cienfuegos’ advance was stalled north of Camaguey, but by the 1st of May, his army was at the gates of Las Villas. After a series of advances, a part of Long’s army was encircled in Las Villas. With only one division in the way of Havana, Castro gave Cienfuegos the order to storm the capital. Huey Long had nowhere to run, as a US fleet detachment prevented any ships from leaving the capital. Russia stood by and watched. It was already too late to intervene, as the many Russian troops who left after the Cuban Missile Crisis, were now beyond the point of no-return.

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    On the 20th of May, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries entered Havana triumphantly. They stormed the presidential palace, similar to how Bolsheviks had stormed the Winter Palace in St.-Petersburg back in 1917. Huey Long’s Minute Men proved no match for the sheer number of angry Cuban peasants and Havanan proletarians. Despite Fidel Castro’s wish to deliver Huey Long unharmed to the US, his followers still killed their president in a wave of anger and hatred. One of the biggest war criminals of the 20th century was dead. Huey Long was no more. The chant ‘Cuba Libre’ could be heard all over Havana. In the following days, Castro dealt with several remaining parts of the Minute Men and the Cuban army. All were defeated easily. This was a huge blow to the Golden Circle, who saw many of their members killed or captured. What remained was the main branch of their organization in the US and those who had the chance to flee Cuba.

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    Cuba still controlled the Hispanic speaking regions of the Caribbean in addition with Jamaica, but Haiti was independent again.

    As for the Haitians, Castro deemed it too dangerous to attack them, as it could be seen as a violation of their treaty with the Caribbean Federation. After all, Huey Long had promised eventual independence for Haiti. Back in the US, President King continued to work hard on black liberation. On the 2nd of July 1964, President Martin Luther King signed the Civil and Voting Rights Act, the most important act of the second half of the 20th century. Racial segregation was ended by law. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations. It was a huge victory for the Civil Rights Movement. Opposition in the South was partly subdued due to several politicians’ alleged ties to the Golden Circle, leading to them abstaining instead of voting against the Act. Despite King’s short term as President, he was able to make momentous changes to US legislation and society. Martin Luther King would go down in history as a controversial, yet important figure.

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    President Martin Luther King holding a speech just before signing the Act.

    ----------
    And so Huey Long's reign comes to an end. As a wave of liberty goes through the Caribbean, America takes its first major step towards racial pacification.
     
    Chapter XII: El Presidente
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    Unfortunately, this is the last chapter of this AAR. Originally I hadn't planned for 12 chapters, but this one seemed to be necessary to give a look on the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution. As always, I will post an epilogue, but that'll be for next week.

    Chapter XII: El Presidente

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    3rd of July 1964 – 24th of January 1965

    With Huey Long and his Golden Circle gone from Cuba, President Fidel Castro, or as he was known by his popular name: El Presidente, found the Cuban economy in a state of chaos. American investors and businessowners were gone and many companies were shut down in the aftermath of the Revolution. It had effectively led to a brain-drain. Educated workers who had worked for the Golden Circle Americans fled with their employers, along with a considerable part of the Cuban elite who was opposed to Castro’s Marxist-Leninist ideas. But in this chaos, an opportunity presented itself. All these foreign industries could now be nationalized by the state. The abandoned sugar plantations could be redistributed among Cuba’s farmers. The true syndicate state could be achieved! But Castro knew that he couldn’t drive it too far, NATO was still known for its adversity towards syndicalism and the US had only supported him to get rid of Huey Long. El Presidente had to come up with a way to keep his regime viable. Castro found the answer abroad.
    First, Fidel Castro found an equal in Che Guevara, now President of the Yucatan Republic. On the 10th of July, Castro and Guevara formally declared their alliance. Not only would an alliance help them in their common defense, the economic cooperation following the alliance would also help Cuba’s need for a foreign consuming market for Cuban goods.

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    Castro and Guevara became more than allies in their common struggle against imperialism and capitalism.

    Castro’s next step was to seek entry into the Non-Aligned Movement. The NAM was founded in 1961 by countries who didn’t want to side with either the US or Russia in the Cold War. Among these countries was Egypt, a republic after the sultanate was overthrown in 1952, Indonesia, independent from Belgium since 1945, Ghana, independent from Britain in 1957, and India. On the 5th of October, Castro attended the start of the Second Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Cairo. Throughout the Summit, Castro met with several world leaders, such as Sukarno from Indonesia and Nasser, who was hosting the whole thing. The Cuban President managed to interest some countries into trading with Cuba. This would give some breathing room for the Cuban economy, which at the moment heavily depended on exports to the US. On the last day of the Summit, terrible and disturbing news arrived from the Russian State.

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    Castro and Sukarno on the Summit in Cairo.

    On the 10th of October, the Russian Vozhd Khrushchev narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. It was clear that some people within the Party did not appreciate Khrushchev’s foreign policy, and in particular the détente which followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. Less fortunate however, was the Prussian President Joseph Goebbels, who was on a state visit to Russia and was sitting next to Khrushchev in his car when a sniper tried to shoot the Vozhd. A government crisis erupted in both Russia and Prussia. In Russia, Khrushchev held a meeting with his most trusted advisors. Following this meeting, a huge amount of arrests were made. Most notably, Konstantin Rodzaevsky was apprehended in Finland while trying to escape to Sweden. Rodzaevsky was a prominent member of the Party and one of the hardliners when it came to US-Russian relations. Just three days after the assassination attempt, Rodzaevsky was executed in the Finnish countryside. With him and many of his followers gone, the factions within the Party who preferred détente had temporarily triumphed. In Prussia, Leni Riefenstahl took over the presidency. Many people tried to work against her, for several reasons, either because she was a woman, or because she had no history of political engagement. It didn’t matter, as she quickly gained the trust of the Landtag in Königsberg by using her charms and the fact that Goebbels had chosen her long before he died. Under her presidency, Prussia would continue to be an authoritarian state known for its heavy indoctrination through the use of the media.

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    Nikita Khrushchev denouncing the enemies of the State after the failed assassination attempt.

    While in Russia, the leadership was challenged through violent means, the US prepared for a peaceful and democratic way of transferring power. By October, the electoral campaign for the presidency was at its height. For the Democrats, Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson won the primaries as expected. Johnson and his running mate Hubert Humphrey took on Republican candidate Barry Goldwater and his running mate William E. Miller. The hot topics of the election campaign where among others the Indochinese war. The war had escalated on the 2nd of August when German Imperial ships attacked the USS Maddox. The Tonkin Incident, as it would be known as, enraged the American public and demanded retaliation. President King ordered a more active position in Indochina. Where before, their troops would only be involved in rescue operations and acquisition of German war criminals, the US would now start to bomb the North and start using its troops more aggressively. Johnson supported these actions and preferred this tactic, but Goldwater was more in favor of ending the conflict with one big sweep, using nuclear weapons. Regarding Cuba, Johnson respected King’s actions, because it had led to the end of Huey Long, while Goldwater criticized it because of the fact that King had brought back syndicalism to the Americas in doing so. But what dominated the debates the most was the Golden Circle. Every day, new names started appearing in the media. Most of them were rich Southern planters or people with ties to the old guard of the Republican Party. On the 27th of October, just mere days from election day, a major scandal involving Goldwater leaked to the public. Apparently, Goldwater had accepted a large sum of money from an alleged member of the Golden Circle. At that moment, Johnson had practically already won the elections.

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    The USS Maddox managed to survive the Tonkin Incident relatively unharmed.

    On the 3rd of November, the American people went to the polls. 61.4% of the American enfranchised voters turned up, a slight drop in comparison to the 1960 elections. When the first results came in, it was clear who won the elections. In the end, Johnson won every state except for Arizona, Louisiana (Huey Long’s home state), Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Not surprisingly, almost every one of these states were former American Union State members. The Democrats dealt a similar blow to the Republicans in the House of Representatives (295-140), while the victory in the Senate was more moderate (65-31). This victory meant that the Democrats would hold a two-thirds majority in Congress for at least the next two years. It was expected that the revelations surrounding the Golden Circle would continue to influence US politics for at least another 5 years. On the 20th of January 1965, just 4 days before news arrived from Britain that Winston Churchill had died from a stroke, Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States.

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    The result of the 1964 US presidential elections.

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    And with that, a new age is about to begin. The Cold War might enter a period of Détente, but both the US and Russia will go through a period of internal unrest in the aftermath of the Golden Circle and the assassination attempt on Khrushchev.
     
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    Epilogue: Cuban Breeze
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    Epilogue: Cuban Breeze

    Cuban Detente

    The Cuban Missile Crisis and the end of Huey Long’s regime in Cuba ushered in a period in the Cold War known as the Cuban Détente, or sometimes the Cuban Breeze. The Missile Crisis caused the existence of a hotline between the Pentagon and the Kremlin and caused the US and Russia to sign a series of nuclear non-proliferation treaties. The threat of nuclear war and mutually assured destruction was averted, for now. During the Cuban Détente, the Cold War was fought out in space. German scientist and engineer Wernher von Braun was key to putting Buzz Aldrin as first man on the Moon in 1969. Von Braun left NASA in 1972 and was hired by the European Space Agency for their Aurora Program. The Cuban Détente lasted until the mid-1970s, when a series of regional conflicts and a worldwide economic crisis led to the return of hostilities between the US and Russia.

    r8tIRV8.jpg

    When Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon as first man to ever do so, he proclaimed the now historical words: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. These words were given on a piece of paper to Aldrin by Lunar Module Pilot Neil Armstrong before Aldrin left the landing module to set foot on the Moon’s surface.

    Politics and economy in Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s

    Castro’s successful coup lead to a communist regime in Cuba. The American companies left by the Golden Circle were nationalized and other foreign companies could only operate with special charters from the government. Important figures of the revolutionary movement took up high positions in the government and the army. Fidel Castro became President and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. Camilo Cienfuegos was the Minister of Armed Forces until his death under mysterious circumstances. Raul Castro became an important member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Cuba was one of the only communist nations of the world, after the defeat of syndicalism in the Second Weltkrieg. As a rather isolated country in the Americas, Cuba held rather friendly relations with its neighbors, although mostly on a superficial level. Only the Yucatan Republic held close ties to the Caribbean country. Cuba continued to be an important member of the Non-Aligned Movement. The economy was mainly driven by monoculture of crops like sugar and tobacco. Long’s only lasting legacy was the small amount of industry located in the north of the country, mainly aimed at consumer goods. During the 1960s, a strong tourist economy also grew. All these incomes contributed to the Cuban social welfare state. Until the economic crisis of 1975, Cuba’s economy benefitted from the Communist regime.

    Politics in the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s

    Johnson’s presidency would see a continuation of the social liberal policies of Kennedy and King. Johnson was determined in ending racial injustice and social inequality. His Great Society and War on Poverty were the main drive of Johnson’s policy at home. His presidency is also known for an escalation of the conflict in Indochina, with Johnson actively sending more soldiers and equipment into the field. As a result, a strong pacifist movement was born. But many voters started to resent the Civil Rights Movement, black liberation and the counterculture known for its pacifism. Republican Richard Nixon tapped into these feelings and defeated Johnson in his campaign for re-election. Johnson mainly lost because of his desire to stay in the Indochinese war. Nixon was a child of the New Right, a conservative movement within the Republican Party aimed at deregulating the economy and cutting taxes, often resulting in the trim of social spending. On the other hand, the Democrats adopted the old Republican views of Quentin Roosevelt on social democracy and combined these with their own views on social liberalism. Nonetheless, the Republican Party managed to dominate the White House until the early 1990s, even though a scandal like Watergate could have harmed the Party.

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    President Nixon offering a salute after his resignation in 1974.

    Western Culture in the late 1960s and 1970s

    The post-war generation born during the ‘baby boom’ came into their adulthood during the 1960s, many of them having enjoyed higher education at universities and colleges. Youth cultures emerged and were often referred to as ‘counter-culture’ as they were a way to protest and go in against the mainstream. An example of a counter-culture was the strong pacifist movement which emerged from opposition to US involvement in the Indochinese War. By the end of the 1960s, youth cultures took a prominent place in society, for example resulting in student protests all over the world in 1968. These counter-cultures also resulted in a strong movement against them in the 1970s with the rise of the New Right in many countries. For example, Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968 by an early follower of the New Right movement. Another major trend during the 1960s and 1970s was the growth of the movie industry. After a brief crisis in the 1960s, Hollywood emerged stronger than ever. Big movie theater complexes emerged all over the West and blockbusters were being made at a steady pace. During the 1960s spy movies like James Bond became popular, partly due to the Cold War. The 1970s saw classic movies like The Godfather, Jaws, and Star Wars.

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    George Lucas’ Star Wars follows the story of the young Luke Skywalker in his fight against the evil Darth Vader alongside his Rebel friends: the Princess Leia Organa and the smuggler Han Solo.


    Exposure of the Golden Circle

    In the aftermath of investigations into Huey Long and his accomplices, mainly led by the CIA agent known as Agent Orange, a huge secret organization was exposed. The Knights of the Golden Circle apparently had funded Huey Long’s rise in the South, thus setting up the Second American Civil War. They were also behind Long’s rise to power in Cuba. Their exposure led to a series of trials, overseen by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). It even led to the disbanding of the NRA in 1966. By 1967, the entire organization of the Golden Circle was exposed and dismantled. But Agent Orange never managed to find the mole inside the White House which Huey Long spoke about. To this day, many historians still speculate about the mole and his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis. More worrisome were the Golden Circle’s ties to the Prussian paramilitary organization known as the Teutonic Order, who were known for acts of repression against ethnic minorities. Some Golden Circle members managed to escape to Prussia, where they joined the ranks of the Teutonic Knights. Their influence in the US, however, disappeared completely. The revelations of the Golden Circle trials brought a resurgence of old quarrels and partly led to the rise of the New Right. In the meanwhile, Agent Orange continued to be an important spy, often operating behind enemy lines in Cold War proxy-wars or helping other countries with dismantling terrorist organizations.

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    Map of the world in 1965.

    Post-Credit Scenes
    Königsberg, Prussia, 20th of May 1964

    Fred had barely been able to make the journey all the way here. Yesterday, he had quickly fled with his family from Havana, as the rebels were closing in. Today, he was in his ancestral homeland, well not exactly. Prussia couldn’t be considered as a part of Germany anymore, but more like Austria, a distinct German-speaking country with its own culture. Through his contacts with the Teutonic Order, Fred was able to secure entry into the authoritarian state. While all of his fellow friends in the Golden Circle would certainly be executed or persecuted, Fred was planning to begin anew, here in Prussia. His son, who was now nearing the age of 18, would receive the best education Prussia could offer. For him, the future was within Prussia. Fred and his family had turned their backs on the US, just like their ancestors had done with Germany.

    Calcutta, Bharatiya Commune, 2nd of March 1937

    The Mahatma was nearing the end of his speech in the Indian National Congress. The words of his sermon echoed throughout the big room and throughout the rest of India. “There is a path of peace for India. Our brothers and our sisters across the border know this. War is not the way to reunify our glorious nation. An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind. I stand before you today with just one message. A vote for the Agrarians is a vote for peace. A vote for the Agrarians is a vote for reunification. And a vote for the Agrarians is a vote for the future.”
     
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