The Latin Union

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The Latin Union
Latin%20Union.jpg
Flag of The Latin Union
Motto: "Omnis Latina Natio Consociatam Sunt"
PNG file
Region South America
Capital Cuiabá
Official Language(s) Latin, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian
Leader President Pedro Marquez
Population < 1 billion
Currency Moneta 
NS Sunset XML

Led by the Union Party, the Incorporated States of The Latin Union is a nation considerable in size, with a decent focus on the welfare of its citizens, being comprised of a vast variety of different ethnic groups who are dominantly atheist/non-religious or Catholic in religion.

The Latin Union is a unicameral federal republic with a strong economy focused on agriculture, mining, and manufacturing, while also being a very environmentally conscious nation.

The role of its military is currently critical to the nation's existence as it is currently at war with the Empire of Jamaica Reborn.

In the NationStates world, this nation has ceased to exist, but will return sometime soon.

Land and Resources

The Latin Union is in a tropical to subtropical climate zone, with much of the uninhabited land dominated by rocky, grassy, flat countryside. Along the northern and western borders, however, mountains are prevalent, and along the southern border there is a considerable rainforest. The east border is coastline.

Rivers and Lakes

The Latin Union is home to many rivers, the most notable of which are the River Cuiabá, which runs through the nation's capital city, and the River Tietê, which extends from the northern border to end in Lake Fana, paralleling the eastern coast. Most of the nation's southern border is dominated by the River Prina. The nation has precious few lakes, however. The largest one is Lake Fana, in the southern rainforest, the product of the confluence of three rivers. Another lake of note is Lake Paz, also in the south, created by a natural reservoir of the River Tietê.

Climate

The Union is subjected to a very wide range of climates. In the northern and western mountain regions the climate is often frigid and snowy, with only the summer months seeing the re-growth of vegetation. The eastern coastline is almost entirely subtropical, and the southern regions are predominantly tropical. The majority of the nation, however, is in its central plains, and those tend to be temperate to subtropical. In the wintertime the capital city of Cuiabá often gets snow, but just outside the city limits to the south the climate drastically changes to subtropical, with the edges of a rainforest in view.

Natural Resources

About 32% of the land of the Union is suitable for agriculture. There is a considerable timber resource in the southern rainforest. The most important mineral resources are iron, natural gas, petroleum, lignite, sulfur, and pyrites. Other mineral deposits include lead, manganese, zinc, mercury, and bauxite. Recently a large uranium deposit was discovered in the nation's rainforest, and this is being carefully mined and used in nuclear power plants. The coast of the Union teems with fish, of which tuna, sardine, and swordfish have the greatest commercial importance. Freshwater fishes include salmon and trout.

Plants and Animals

In the rainforest regions to the south, teak, palm, and rubber trees are dominant. Cacao and palm trees thrive along the eastern coastline. Indigenous fruits are cultivated heavily, and these include pineapple, fig, custard apple, mango, banana, guava, grape, and orange. Common vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, corn, and lima beans grow in the central and mid-northern regions. Tomatoes are prevalent there as well. Animals in the southern regions consist of jaguars, pumas, monkeys, foxes, armadillos, anteaters, and opossums. Various species of frog, gecko, and salamander are also present. In the central and northern regions live wolves, deer, bears, coyotes, rabbits, and raccoons. The mountainous regions are home to mountain goats, cougars, antelope, marmots, and beavers.

Population

The nation is home to a vast variety of peoples. In the early days of the region's reorganization, the population was predominantly Brazilian Portuguese, Hispanic, and mestizo, with a minority of French, Italians, and Native Americans. As the nation grew and immigration rose, these minorities have enlarged and become nearly 20% of the population. Many people of African descent also live in the nation.

Political Divisions

Under the 2004 constitution, the five loosely-federated provinces of the area united into one definite nation-state, with a sixth province being created around the capital city of Cuiabá, named Media Provinicia, for the federal government to have direct mandate over. The five original provinces were renamed Libertas, Vita, Pax, Unitas, and Consociatio. The most populous province is Pax, followed closely by Libertas and Consociatio. The largest city is Setubal, the capital of Pax province. Other leading cities include Cáceres, the capital of Libertas province; Santa Rosa, the capital of Vita province; Goiania, the capital of Consociatio province; Abrantes, a major port on the eastern coastline; Manaus, a major center of industry and education; and Batalha, another port.

Religion

Catholicism, Protestantism, and other Christian sects dominate the Union's religious followers, but nearly 50% of the populace are nonreligious or atheistic. About 1% of the people follow Judaism, another 0.6% are followers of Islam. Hinduism and Buddhism have very small followings.

Language

Latin is the Union's primary official language. It is required to be taught in all schools from grade 6 onward, and is the only language all road signs, consumer products, and governmental documents are printed in. Portuguese and Spanish are the dominant secondary tongues, with many billboards and business documents being printed in them. French and Italian constitute the minority tongues, but are still official by government standards. All Latin schoolchildren are required to take an additional language in secondary school other than Latin and their native language. In addition, college graduates are required to learn English for certain majors. The Latin spoken in the Union is drawn from traditional Latin, with a much larger vocabulary. Words not found in traditional Latin have been "Latinized" from other romance languages. For example, the word "bureau" is not found in traditional Latin, so its French root has been Latinized into "bureaus" and is used as a Latin word for all purposes of declination.

Education

Required Schooling

Latin students are required by law to attend primary, intermediate, and secondary school. Primary school begins when a child is 5 or 6 and consists of five grades. Intermediate school consists of grades 6, 7, and 8, and secondary school consists of grades 9-12. Primary, intermediate, and secondary schools are maintained by municipal, provincial, and federal funds.

Higher Education

After secondary school a student may choose to attend a vocational academy, become an apprentice, or enter a university. These facilities are not municipally or provincially funded, but the federal government provides significant funding. However, many large universities must still charge their students tuition to cover their expenses. The leading universities of the nation are Vita University, the University of Cáceres, Manaus Academy of the Sciences, and the University of Cuiabá.

Culture

The influence of the Union's culture is predominantly Portuguese and Hispanic, though in some cities French and Italian culture is significantly portrayed through architecture and city beautification projects.

Libraries and Museums

Most major cities have their own public library system, and several have suburban branches. The National Archives of the Latin Union, located in Cuiabá, is a massive underground complex that stores all historic and cultural publications of the Union from before and since its creation. Museums in many major cities are dedicated to local and foreign artists, the region's natural history, and the histories of the predominating subcultures within the Union. In Cuiabá there is the Pedras Ramis Bucair Museum, home to many important archaeological finds in the region dating from the era of the dinosaurs.

Literature

The nation is still too young to have developed a considerable store of its own native literature, but the pillars of Portuguese, Hispanic, French, and Italian literature are honored in most of the nation's libraries. Some local prolific authors include Marco Soval, Ignacio Menendez, Juanita Orfendida, and Paolo Urbanini.

Art

Local artists focus primarily on painting and murals - many of the nation's cities are home to massive murals on the sides of public buildings. Architecture is also an expression of most modern art trends. Many buildings in Cuiabá are decorated with bright, colorful patterns.

Music

Classical music is a dominant influence on Latin culture, and the nation has been host to many gifted composers in past years. Popular music includes techno, rock, and rap.

Economy

Though industry in the Latin Union is under tight federal regulations concerning the protection of the environment (heavy industry must go to expensive lengths to dispose of waste and avoid even more costly cleanup costs), it still is flourishing in many of the nation's large cities. Mining and consumer goods are primary focuses of the industry, though agriculture is still strong.

Agriculture

Coffee and cacao are major export products of the Union. Orange products, bananas, and grains are also widely farmed. The farming industry of the Union has been revolutionized by improvements in machinery in recent decades, and as a result farms are turning out more crops of higher and higher qualities. Livestock is raised in many of the nation's interior farms. Cows, pigs, and sheep are the top three farm animals in the nation.

Forestry and Fishing

Both of these areas are tightly environmentally regulated, and as a result forestry is among the Union's least-developed industries. In accordance with a recent U.N. madate, the Latin paper industry is switching from wood to hemp as its primary raw material. However, this transition is closely monitored by civilian anti-drug groups. Fishing is a more prosperous industry, and both corporate and private fishing vessels harvest the nation's coastline and internal waterways in a cautious but profitable manner.

Mining

The nation's immense mineral deposits make mining the largest industry. Iron ore, uranium, sulfur, lead, manganese, zinc, mercury, and bauxite are mined extensively throughout the country, but under tight environmental regulations. Despite the regulations the mining continues to be highly profitable.

Manufacturing

Automobiles, consumer goods, machinery, clothing and textiles, and chemicals are the Union's leading manufactured products. Most of the major cities have economies based on the manufacturing industry.

Energy

Petroleum and natural gas power plants dominated the Union's electricity output capabilities well into the 1990s. With the unification and the placement of tight environmental restrictions on industry, the energy companies began to turn to alternative measures. Rivers now provide nearly 40% of the nation's energy through hydroelectric plants. Solar power contributes nearly 16%, wind power 8%, and geothermal power about 0.3%. The nation commissioned a network of nuclear power plants in late 2004, and upon completion this network is expected to take the entirety of the remaining burden off the remaining petroleum and natural gas power plants. The focus of many of the nation's nuclear science academies currently is the reclamation of the nuclear waste these facilities produce.

Currency and Banking

The monetary unit of the Union is the moneta, 1.9292 of which equaled $1 U.S. in February 2005 (1 moneta = $0.52 U.S.). The Latin National Reserve is responsible for the minting of new currency and storage of national savings. The Latin National Bank is responsible for handling all federal transactions and savings. Commercial banks serve the citizens of the nation, the most notable of which is the First Bank of the Union.

Transportation

Public transportation is prevalent in many of the nation's larger cities, but smaller cities suffer from high traffic levels. There is a national highway system and a national railway system for both passenger and freight services. The nation has many large airports, many of them servicing international flights. Ports along the eastern coast service mostly large commercial freighters and tankers, with a few luxury cruisers.

In late 2004 and early 2005, a massive federal program was instituted to promote public transportation and carpooling. This was meant to wean the public off fossil fuel consumption, and lower the cost of petroleum. In some major cities such as Setubal, only public transportation vehicles are now allowed on the roads in downtown areas. The move has been met with much criticism from right-wing independents, but city dwellers have reacted with a mostly positive attitude to the change.

Communications

The Latin Union has over 790 television stations, most of them owned by the nation's major networks. Major networks within the Union own several channels for the purposes of transmitting programming in several of the nation's major languages. Most of the low-digit channels are in Latin and Portuguese, whereas higher-digit channels carry Spanish, French, and Italian programs. A few channels carry programming from neighboring nations, and some have English programming. Satellite television service is dominant in many of the large cities and suburbs. The Union is also home to over 4000 radio stations in AM, FM, and shortwave. Newspapers and magazines are far too numerous to mention, but the current leader in circulation is the Latin National Daily Journal, a privately owned newspaper based out of Cuiabá that provides service to almost all of the Union's cities, suburbs, and rural centers.

Labor

Labor unions are present in nearly every aspect of the Latin workforce. Recently the management of many companies were lobbying for their own union with the federal government, but the government withdrew from the issue and told the management to handle the issue on their own. The Latin workforce is 40% services, 45% industry, and 15% agriculture, fishing, and forestry. Nearly a third of the workforce is women.

Government

The Constitution of the Latin Union was formally adopted on September 18th, 2004, and lays out the national government to be a unicameral federal republic. National government has executive, legislative, and judicial branches, all of which are elected by direct popular vote. Provincial government has executive and legislative branches and is generally very small, handling only social, educational, and infrastructure issues for the province. Municipal governments are based upon tradition and usually have elections that deviate from the national Election Day of December 1st.

Executive

The executive branch of the Latin national government consists of the President, the Vice President, and the Cabinet. The President of the Latin Union is both the nation's head of state and of government, and is responsible for signing or vetoing bills passed through the legislature. The President is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and is considered the head of all diplomacy and policy. The Vice President presides over the Latin General Assembly as its moderator and serves as a second-in-command to the President, able to take over the running of the nation in the event of the President's absence, incapacitation, or death. The Cabinet is a small committee of ministers headed by the President and the Vice President, who determine policy and run most of the nation's non-legislative governmental affairs. The Cabinet consists of the Minister of State, the Minister of Military Affairs, the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Foreign Relations, and the Chief of the General Staff. The President is elected by direct popular vote of the entire Union to a five-year term and may run for reelection. Currently there is no limit to the number of terms a President may serve. National elections are held on December 1st, in conjunction with representative elections but on a separate ballot, and presided over by a non-partisan National Elections Committee that gathers all national ballots from all polling precincts before counting them and totaling them at the end of two weeks. The newly-elected President takes office on January 1st. The Vice President is selected by the President either during his/her campaign or after the election, as are the members of the Cabinet. All selections must be ratified by the General Assembly before they can take office. Note: President Pedro Marquez was elected shortly after the adoption of the constitution. He selected Felipe Caraguez to be his Vice President. They were not up for reelection on December 1st, 2004, because it had been only three months since their election. However, debate still exists over whether they will be up for reelection on December 1st, 2009. Though the General Assembly insists that Marquez and Caraguez be granted amnesty from that election to ensure stability, Marquez and Caraguez insist that to preserve democracy in the new nation they be placed for reelection against any opponents that materialize.

Provincial governments are presided over by a Governor, in some provinces aided by a Lieutenant Governor. Provincial leaders are elected by direct popular vote, though in some provinces the Lieutenant Governor is selected by the Governor and approved by the provincial legislature. The terms of Governors vary with each province, as do election dates. Media Provincia is considered a federal district and is under the direct control of a Viceroy that represents the federal government.

Legislature

The Latin General Assembly is a body of representatives elected by the members of each province according to their population. For every 2 million residents of a province, that province receives one representative. Representatives hold their seat for four years and are elected every year, so that one quarter the representatives of each province are elected every year. Voters are allowed to vote for multiple representatives, up to 1/4 the number of representatives their province is allotted. The top candidates are then elected to seats in the Assembly. For example: Unitas province is home to 24 million residents. It therefore has 12 seats in the General Assembly. Every year, 3 of those seats are up for election. Voters in Unitas are allowed to vote for 3 of the candidates on their ballots. The candidates that win the top 3 amounts of popular votes are then elected to office. General elections are held on December 1st and are presided over by provincial elections committees that gather all ballots from every polling precinct in their province and count them all by the end of two weeks. The newly-elected representatives then take office on January 1st. Note: The Latin General Assembly held its first elections on December 1st, 2004, during which the first bracket of representatives was elected, most of them replacing former provincial legislators and provisionally elected officials. The remainder of the government still consists of said officials, however.

Provincial legislature consists of representatives elected by direct popular vote to represent individual districts within each province. The terms of provincial legislators vary with each province, as do election dates and the number of representatives allocated to each district. Media Provincia, being a federal district, bows to the legislature of a small, federally-selected Provincial Council to mandate local affairs.

Judiciary

The federal court system has a five-grade hierarchical system. Federal offense cases are dealt with first in the lowest grade of the system, the First Courts. There is one First Court to every district within a province, and one for the whole of Media Provincia. Judges are elected by direct popular vote within their district to four-year terms. Federal cases are determined by a jury of 11 members. Cases appealed from First Courts proceed to Second Courts. There is one Second Court for every three First Courts, and the judges of Second Courts are elected to four-year terms in the years between First Court elections by their three constituent districts. Third Courts preside over whole provinces and there are three to five Third Courts for every province. Third Court judges are elected by direct popular vote from the whole province to four-year terms in the same year as First Court judges. Any case appealed from a Third Court proceeds to the Fourth Courts, a group of five courts in Cuiabá whose judges are appointed by the Fifth Court. The Fifth Court is the highest court in the nation, and it consists of eleven judges elected to life terms by nationwide popular vote. No jury serves in the Fifth Court. It is the Fifth Court's primary duty to judge the constitutionality of any law passed through the General Assembly and signed by the President. Should the Fifth Court deem the law constitutional, only then can it take effect. Otherwise it is sent back to the General Assembly. The Fifth Court also handles the impeachment of Presidents and cases of treason against the Union. Finally, the Fifth Court is responsible for hearing cases against provincial and municipal legislature that may conflict with the Constitution, and deeming those laws valid or not.

Until recently, the Fifth Court's judges had been selected by the President and approved by the General Assembly, but a popular movement in December 2004 led the General Assembly to amend the Constitution and allow Fifth Court judges to be elected by the general public directly.

Provinces and municipalities have their own court systems that differ from the federal system only in that they handle cases of violations of provincial or municipal laws and ordinances. All provincial and municipal courts are required by the Constitution to have a jury decide the outcome of criminal cases. Ordinance violations are handled by the judges alone, but may, on request of the defendant, have a jury.

Political Parties

The current dominant political party of the Union is the Union Party, originally formed by Pedro Marquez and his followers to advocate the creation of a Latin state. Since the adoption of the constitution, the Union Party has dominated the General Assembly. No other organized political parties have yet sprung up within the Union, though there are many independents both in the General Assembly and provincial legislatures.

Health and Welfare

Hospitals are well-staffed in large cities, but are often not numerous enough and most cities are currently undergoing hospital expansion or construction programs. Suburban and rural areas generally have adequate healthcare. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, clinics, and pharmacists are given federal tax exemptions and also receive federal funding, are partially funded by private organizations, and directly charge the consumer for costs that exceed what federal and private funding can cover. In this way, Latin healthcare services cost nothing in comparison to healthcare services in nations with totally privatized healthcare. The need for health insurance is relatively low, recommended only for people in high-risk professions, and is typically extremely cheap. Patients who cannot pay for treatment immediately can pay through any number of payment plans offered by the hospitals. Abortions are routinely performed in the Latin Union's hospitals.

Defense

Military service is voluntary and forces in February 2005 totaled 1,132,327 personnel, and this figure included land, air, and naval forces. Additional reserves totaled 654,585 personnel. In case of National Emergency, Latin citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 not currently serving in the military or reserves may be selected by local Army commanders to form Irregular Civil Defense Brigades.

History

The Formative Years

Immediately following the unification of the five provinces, President Pedro Marquez set about consolidating the power of the federal government and concentrating it in the new capital city of Cuiabá, in Consociatio. The constitution created a new province around the capital city named Media Provincia (Central Province), which fell under the direct mandate of the government. The province was named symbolically, as all the Union could look to it as its new center of power.

Within months of having the constitution ratified, the Marquez administration set about righting the Union's internal problems caused by years of drug-trafficking and corruption in the area. Federal crackdowns on drug cartels were predominant during these formative months, and many former governing officials in the provinces were suddenly subjected to civilian investigations into their leadership practices, causing many of them to resign or be replaced. Journalism in this period was dominated by political scandal at the municipal and provincial levels, as well as hailing the downfall of several very promininent drug lords.

Government agencies were centralized in Cuiabá, drawing their personnel from former duplicate agencies in the provinces. The military was almost totally restructured as well, implementing a new command and control system and combining the former militias of all five provinces into one formal army for the whole of the Union. Federal spending on defense over the first few months was put to use standardizing the military's training programs, funding a new nation-wide command network, and purchasing newer equipment.

Commerce in the early months of the Union's formation was uncertain, as companies were wary of President Marquez's stance as an environmentalist and workers rights advocate. Labor unions had not existed in some provinces for quite some time, and as the government encouraged workers to unite to defend their rights, many companies were suffering from their first wage strikes in decades. At the same time, the government sought to improve the Union's economy by promoting private healthcare and public transportation, allocating federal funds to the nation's many public universities, and contracting several mining and power-generation companies to begin working toward the installation of a nation-wide nuclear power network. However, as the General Assembly passed environmental restrictions on companies, some suffered severely and were forced to go bankrupt.

Land reform was a key issue in the early stages of unification. Marquez had promised to give land workers their lives back, and take political power away from the big landlords of the nation that had once held sway over governmental affairs. Through some powerful land reform legislation, backed now by a centralized federal police force, many big landowners were forced to divide up their holdings into workable tracts of land to be sold to the highest bidder. Farm companies soon took root, usurping the need for landowners to make money off the land they owned, and instead simply make money through the growing and sale of foodstuffs. Rainforest devastation linked to irresponsible farming practices was curtailed, and the new Latin farm industry surged back to life within a year's time.

After a few months of working out internal problems, the Union's government opened itself up to international relations with a hopeful demeanor. The government purchased a number of empty lots along Via Consociatio, not far from the capital, to sell to foreign powers willing to set up embassies within the Union (thread here). International attention was limited, but strong ties were forged with the Resurgent Dream in these months. President Marquez's attendance of a holiday festival in that nation was the first major instance of foreign relations in the history of the new nation (thread here). Another notable instance was the opening of relations with Treznor, whose goodwill visit to the Union provided the nation with valuable technology that could revolutionize its energy industry (thread here).

The Union's Catholic community began facing a major hurdle after the unification, as followers of different Popes began creating tension over which Pope was the true voice of God. Cardinal Giuseppe Arnandini, the leader of the largest diocese in the Union, has set about resolving this task, but no solution has as yet been reached (thread here).

Outside of politics, the first nationally organized football team saw its debut at the Baptism of Fire tournament preceding the 18th World Cup (thread here). Though it wasn't championship material, it did boost the morale of fans across the Union and helped to further generate a sense of national pride.

The War with the Jamaican Empire

Thread Here

Three years after the formation of the nation, the Latin Union saw its first conflict. The Empire of Jamaica Reborn, using a clandestine television campaign and open political pressure, drew attention to the Union's African-descended population, claiming their human rights were being actively violated by the Latin majority in the nation, and accusing Marquez's administration of outright oppressing them. Internal investigations into the matter, as well as statements made by the National Movement for the Unity of Africans, or GMUA, have repeatedly discredited these claims as fabrications. Nonetheless the Jamaician government, pressed by internal forces, issued an ultimatum to the Union's government, ordering them to step down and be replaced by a Jamaican government, or face military consequences. The ultimatum was dismissed by President Marquez as "unacceptable," and he mobilized the Union's armed forces in an attempt to deter an invasion. However, the Jamaicans pressed their ultimatum, and at 7:15 PM on May 9th, 2007, the Latin Union and the Jamaican Empire officially went to war.

Cessation

The Latin Union ceased to exist in the NationStates world sometime during the early months of 2006, real time. The nation is to be restarted under a new name sometime later in the year.