Gran Altiplano

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The People's Confederacy of Greater Altiplano
la Confederación Popular de Gran Altiplano
Flag of la Confederación State Emblem of la Confederación
Flag State Emblem
Motto: "Unidad y progreso"
"Unity and progress"
Gran Altiplano, showing the five provinces.
The location of Gran Altiplano in Orda.
CapitalAltamira (Áskalen)
Largest Puerto Yunque
Official languages Español
Recognised national languages Riadálu
Working languages Ordialid
Ethnic groups (2015)
  • XX% –––
  • XX% –––
  • XX% –––
  • Indigenous:
    –––––––
  • Minorities: –––––––
  • Other: –––––––
Demonym Altiplanero
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic
 -  Secretario del Partido Popular Hilarión Carancho Menéndez
 -  Primer Ministro de Gran Altiplano Agustín Arce Pontevedra
Legislature Consejo Obrero
Area
 -  1,196,959.8 km2 km2
462,148.76 sqmi sq mi
 -  Water (%) 1.19%
Population
 -  2016 estimate 77,430,000 (6)
 -  2015 census 77,393,136
 -  Density 64.689/km2
167.5/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate
 -  Total $4.332 trillion (3? 4?)
 -  Per capita $55,973 (3? 4?)
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
 -  Total $3.8 trillion (4)
 -  Per capita $49,084 (4)
Gini (2016)Decrease 18.7
low · 1
HDI (2016)Increase 0.815
very high · 4
Currency Escudo Altiplanero (ESA)
Time zone Sierran Standard Time, Verrazano Standard Time (UTC-6 / -7)
Antipodes Western Antaric Ocean
Date format dd-mm-yyyy AD
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .at

Gran Altiplano, officially the People's Confederation of Greater Altiplano (Spanish: Confederación Popular de Gran Altiplano), is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic occupying the southeast of the continent of Valeya. The nation was formed in 1977 following the March Revolution, which unified the states of Altiplano, Averillas, Catamarca, Puerto Sierra, and Roblemar.

History[edit]

Altiplano, ~500-1977[edit]

Averillas, 1481-1977[edit]

Invention of Powered Flight, 1904
In the spring of 1904, the world's first powered flight was conducted east of Pereira in Averillas. Siblings Bartolomeo and Mercedes Padilla, some of the foremost experts on gliders in the world, designed and built the Loro I in their machine shop in the city, testing wing and propeller designs in a fully functional wind tunnel they constructed. Following a previous attempt in late April 1904 in which the Loro was overturned by wind and the struts damaged, the pair successfully launched the aircraft over the floodplain of the Rio Orozco, travelling a total distance of 31 metres. This was rapidly followed by further flights over the course of the summer, which by the end lasted several minutes and allowed the Padilla siblings to demonstrate control of the aircraft. Though the discovery was widely touted within Averillas and even merited a letter of commendation from the Spanishlandic emperor, the news had far less effect outside of the country.

By 1907, the design had been refined and the Padilla siblings took the Loro IV to Khornera for a demonstration of the aircraft's potential. Khorneran military officers were suitably impressed with the possible implications of controllable flight for reconnaissance. However, it would be another five years before a suitable model entered limited production under contract with the Holy Khorneran Empire. Subsequent models would see service on both sides of the First Endwar, not only in the hands of the Khorneran military but also in the Spanishlandic Army and even briefly in Faldarun prior to the Civil War.

The Morrión Crisis, 1947
As the localised depression worsened, many in the agricultural northern part of the country felt the pressure of increased taxes on their produce, which led to several food shortages. Though these never reached the level of a true famine, mostly because environmental factors did not worsen in conjunction with economic ones, much of the region's rural population subsisted on the brink of starvation or sank into debt, unable to simultaneously produce enough food to feed themselves and pay production taxes levelled at them. The matter boiled over in April of 1947, when the town of Morrión in the departament of Coruña refused to pay taxes, blockading the road to the capital at Cedeño. King Fabián immediately dispatched a company of soldiers to quell the unrest, but they were met with a riot and driven off. Following this unsuccessful attempt to bring the offending farmers to heel, the people of Morrión began to arm and train a militia, ignoring all further communications from the Crown. Worried that this act of rebellion would destabilise neighbouring areas, Fabián drafted Missive Forty-Three in late June, ordering the Royal Army to treat the inhabitants of Morrión as in rebellion against the Crown: all captured were to be imprisoned and detained, and the army was given full permission to kill those who resisted and otherwise use any means deemed necessary to crush the revolt. Over two thirds of the population of Morrión died at the hands of the army, and the village was razed in retribution. When protests erupted in three other towns across the country, the army opened fire there as well, killing ten more and wounding forty. No further fractiousness occurred out of fear of reprisal, and July of 1947 became known as Julio Sangriento, or Bloody July.

El Ejército de Liberación Nacional
Following the events of Julio Sangriento, a group of dissidents, some from the regions around Morrión and other towns that had suffered under the monarchy, coalesced in the mountains of Averillas. Calling themselves el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army), they began a guerrilla campaign that would last nearly forty years until a deal was signed with the government of Gran Altiplano in 1982.

Catamarca, 1384-1977[edit]

Puerto Sierra, 1529-1977[edit]

Roblemar, 1618-1977[edit]

The March Revolution[edit]

The pivotal event in Altiplanero history, the March Revolution united the five states of the region into the modern Confederación and drastically changed the social and political structure of the coastal states in particular. Though Francisco Áviles, founder of the People's Party in Altiplano, is given much of the credit for the Revolution's success, a wide variety of factors contributed to the downfall of the governments in the coastal states, many of which had been developing for years prior to 1977.

Catamarca and the FOC
One of the key catalysts within the coastal states was the example set by the Federación Obrera de Catamarca or FOC. Illegally founded in the autumn of 1963 in contravention of the Catamarqueño monarchy's standing ban on unionisation by a group of shipwrights, the FOC sought peaceful negotiations with King Rodrigo II regarding rights and a guaranteed wage rate. Following moderate inflation in the post-war period, real wages had fallen by nearly thirty percent in most manufacturing and industrial jobs. The FOC sought to petition the Royal Cabinet and Senate to adjust real wages to match inflation in the future. Though it is possible that Rodrigo II would have listened to their demands on his own, the members of the nobility with a vested interest in the shipbuilding industry pressured him strongly to deny their request for a round-table, and the leaders of the movement were subsequently imprisoned for three months. By February of 1964, the nobility and chief shareholders of the large companies were satisfied that the situation had cooled sufficiently and released the men quietly.

For the next two years, the movement appeared dead, though in reality the leaders had been attempting to make inroads with other informal workers' organisations throughout Catamarca, though most notably in the steel production industry, given its close ties to the shipyards where they worked. In April 1966, then, another attempt was made to bargain with the government, by which time official membership in the FOC had grown to nearly 200,000, a significant portion of the 4.6 million Catamarqueños at the time. As the leaders spoke to representatives of the Royal Cabinet, nearly eleven thousand workers in the capital of Puerto Yunque (now Puerto Yunque) went on strike to support the movement. This time, sufficient momentum had been accrued to bring Rodrigo II to the table, and negotiations began in early May, lasting for two weeks. On 19 May, the King announced that he had reached an accord with the FOC which would permit them to remain as a union and that wages would indeed be fixed to compensate somewhat for inflationary pressures. Effectively rescinding the previous ban on unions was a massive step forwards, though this was contingent on the behaviour of the FOC: if all went well with the settlement that had been reached, unions as a whole would be permitted going forwards from 1 January 1970. The rise in wages would be a gradual process over the next five years, giving the nobility in charge of the industry a chance to prepare for higher costs of labour, and would be steadily increased, though not to the level of real wages before the Second Endwar. This angered some, but the vast majority of members in the FOC were satisfied and celebrated this as a victory over the societal stratification that created the situation in the first place. The local holiday of Federation Day is still celebrated on 19 May in Puerto Yunque.

However, a significant reversal occurred with the sudden death of Rodrigo II due to a heart attack on 21 October 1969. His eldest son, who would have been Rodrigo III, had abdicated his right to the throne following a dispute of marriage, preferring to wed a Meriadni commoner over a member of the Catamarqueño nobility. This left the second son, Prince Paolo, as the heir to the throne at the age of nine. The regent chosen by the Royal Cabinet was the Duke of Tarancón, owner of the two largest shipyards in the country and one of the chief opponents of the FOC and the unionists in general. One of his first actions in office after overseeing the state funeral of Rodrigo VI was to rescind the agreement permitting labour unions after 1 January. The outrage over this announcement was compounded by the freezing of wages once more across a majority of industrial occupations. Nearly half the working population of Puerto Real and Tarancón, the two largest port cities of Catamarca, took to the streets in protest. The Duke responded with a declaration of martial law during the night of 13 November, and the protests were broken up and the FOC banned outright. Its leaders were sheltered by sympathisers despite warrants for their arrest being issued throughout the country, and continued to publish pamphlets and political material, using what remained of the FOC leadership to disseminate these underground texts for the next six years. By the summer of 1975, the membership of the FOC had swung somewhat to the left, and the situation was ripe for what was to come in the form of an unexpected contact from the west.

Averillas and las nuevas Cartistas
In the westernmost of the coastal states, the repercussions of the Morrión Crisis were still being felt some twelve years later, with the increasing disparity between the goals of the aristocrats and the needs of the large urban working-class. As voting was still restricted to the nobility or those owning land or a business, blue-collar workers had seen their situation and indeed the plight of all city-dwellers in Averillas worsen markedly during the fifties and early sixties. With the memory of Morrión still fresh in their minds, however, there was no immediate push to take radical action, and instead what developed was a large movement centred around securing voting rights for at least white-collar male workers, preferring civil disobedience and striking. Naturally, this too did not go over well with the monarchy, and a great number of people were jailed. Three of the leaders disappeared outright; it was later discovered that they had been relocated to the state maximum-security prison on the island of El Rincón, where two would die before the March Revolution liberated the political prisoners kept there.

Following in the tradition of a similar movement in the late nineteenth century, the workers who remained began to style themselves las Cartistas since they shared the same goal of extending voting rights beyond the landed elite. Subsequent attempts to effect change were met with the same stubborn hostility that had greeted earlier efforts; however, the organisation of these individuals had been moulded by the aftermath of Morrión, and began to view itself as a more definedly "underground" movement.

Puerto Sierra and the Sierreño Socialist Party
Puerto Sierra at this time was unique among the coastal states for possessing a legislature with popular representation.

Gran Altiplano 1979 – Present[edit]

Government[edit]

Workers' Council
Consejo Obrero
Type
Type
Unicameral
Structure
Seats 300 members
ConsejoObrero.svg
Political groups

The political and governmental climate of Gran Altiplano has changed significantly since the nation's foundation, having democratised significantly. However, it still ought not be mistaken for one that mirrors the majority of parliamentary systems; the relationship between the functions of the State governmental apparatus and the organs and influence of the Partido Popular is still something that influences domestic politics and contributes to having a proper understanding of Altiplanero government. Strictly speaking, Gran Altiplano is not in fact a single-party state: no laws exist barring the formation of alternative political parties, and indeed several enjoy significant representation on the regional level. However, the Partido Popular retains a dominant role in the politics of the central government because of its ties to the people in a very real and non-dogmatic sense. The most important manifestation of this is that members of the Party as a labour union then vote for its candidates on a national level as a condition for membership. In that sense, the strict party discipline observed on occasion in other socialist parties is something emulated in Gran Altiplano by increasing the benefits of the Partido Popular as an organisation that is truly representative of and responsive to the interests of the workers.

Structure[edit]

The governmental apparatus is quite standard at a fundamental level; it employs a parliamentary system in the vein of the Westminster system. The legislative branch consists of a unicameral assembly, the Consejo Obrero or "Workers' Council", which is responsible for drafting legislation for the entire Confederation. The Partido Popular, which is technically a conglomerate of the five regional parties, controls a vast majority of the seats, though there are two alternative parties with some national support which have managed to gain a handful of seats in the recent past. The Prime Minister of the nation is typically selected from within the Party leadership, and does not necessarily have to be an elected representative themselves. However, for approximately the past twelve years, it has been de facto accepted procedure that the Prime Minster be selected from within the ranks of the legislators themselves. This represents an important shift away from somewhat extraconstitutional domination of politics by the Party elites, which has been cited by the current Secretario, Hilarión Carancho Menéndez, as "a necessary suspension of our responsibility to let government rest in the hands of the people themselves. With the fundamentals of a socialist society well entrenched in this nation, it is our responsibility as leaders to remand the authority with which we have been entrusted for the sake of proper stewardship."[1] Following the Constitutional Reform Referendum of 2008 and the upheaval surrounding it, the Party now has no direct agency in the Consejo save for the selection of candidates for the party list in general, similar to the process found in most other democratic states that utilise a closed and blocked list.

Secretario Menéndez speaking to the Consejo Obrero in 2014
Representation for the Consejo Obrero is determined via a party-list proportional representation system, which allocates seats based on regional representation. Thresholds vary across the five regions of the Confederation, with the lowest set at 2% in Altiplano and the highest at 12% in Catamarca.[2] Seats are then allocated by region; the number is fixed at three hundred, though the number allocated to each region is redistributed after each census at five-year intervals. As of 2016, Altiplano controls 29 seats, Averillas 79, Catamarca 84, Roblemar 43, and Puerto Sierra 65. As noted in the diagram above, sub-branches of the Partido Popular hold the majority of the seats in each province; this division is not one that formally exists in the party but rather merely applies to candidates for the sake of keeping the national elections democratic.

An independent judiciary exists as well, with nine judges serving staggered terms. They are appointed not by the executive but rather the legislative, though the Prime Minister and Cabinet are responsible for nominating a slate of individuals to face consideration for the position that opens each year. This selection process is carried out within the first week of each year's opening session of the Consejo Obrero, an informal convention that was codified with the constitutional reforms of 2008. There are no term limits for judges, though none have served in excess of three to date.

The Partido Popular[edit]

Since its consolidation following the success of the March Revolution in 1979, the Partido Popular has changed dramatically. While the intellectual leaders of the movement, most notably Francisco Áviles of the Partido Socialista Altiplanero, conceived of a state in which the general membership of the PPA would be able to responsibly govern themselves, the daunting prospect of unifying five states with different histories and political and social climates, despite their cultural similarities, led them to retain a tighter grip on the reins of the revolution. While this pseudo-vanguardism did result in some suppressions of civil liberties in the years immediately following the revolution, what curtailment there was disappeared with the consolidation and unification of the Confederation as a whole. The intellectual elite that had led the revolution, however, proved more resilient to change, and it was not until the early twenty-first century that the last of that first generation fully distanced themselves from the governing structure of the PPA.

In its current form, the PPA has built upon the unusual though logical conjunction of labour union and political party that made mass membership so appealing to the working population in the first place. By tying discussion of compensation, working conditions and labour laws so closely to political participation on a national scale, the PPA ensured that the proletariat would remain involved in influencing the ideological discussions that occurred at the highest level. This served as a check on the ambitions of those who would have preferred a more exclusively vanguardist approach to rule, and by extension required that those individuals who stood at the top of the PPA's hierarchy were held responsible to those they purported to represent.

The ideology of the Partido Popular predates its existence as a political organisation: many of its structural characteristics were inherited from the Partido Socialista Altiplanero and the Federación Obrera de Catamarca, and the core tenets of the party's approach to governing were laid out in advance of the Revolution in a series of essays written by the intellectuals who conceived of the PPA. The most important of these, Francisco Áviles, would go on to be the first Secretario of the PPA; his 1968 manifesto Revolución y avanzamiento a través de convertirse en ejemplo brillante would lead to RNCP Chairperson Lázár Csiszmadia dubbing the PPA's ideology "Exemplarism".

Consejo Central del Partido Popular
Secretario del Partido Popular: Hilarión Carancho Menéndez
Secretario para Ideología Revolucionaria: Rafael Pereira
Secretario para Franqueza al Público: Carmela Lucía Valles
Secretario para Asuntos Exteriores: María Elena Kuznetsova

Foreign Relations[edit]

Military[edit]

The various services of the People's Confederation were established concurrently with the proclamation of the state on 7 July 1977.

Armada Revolucionaria de la Confederación [ARCo]
Un total de ~120,000 marineros áctivos, ~170,000 con reserva
2 Francisco Áviles-class aircraft carriers
32 Álten Kesáru-class SSNs, 15 Coruña-class SSNs, 1 Altamira-class SSN, 6 Igualdad-class SSGNs, 2 Arpón-class SSGNs
A number of destroyers, a handful of gunships (2), and other prerequisite vessels.

Ejército Revolucionario de la Confederación [ERCo]
~70,000 tropas áctivas, ~115,000 con reserva

Guardia Civil de la Confederación [G2Co]
~175,000 policías en total, ~10,000 de cuyo son responsables para el arsenal nuclear del país

Economy[edit]

Geography[edit]

A topographical rendering of Gran Altiplano, showing the larger rivers.
The geography of Gran Altiplano is unique to the south of the Valeyan continent. Shaped by the intersection of the Sierra Nevasiáni Sureño and Cordillera Central mountain ranges, the three primary features of the nation's topography are the altiplano, the inland high plateau that occupies around half the land area of the nation, the rugged, river-sculpted topography and cooler coastal climate of the southwestern coast, particularly the Averillas province, and the denser jungles of the northeast in Puerto Sierra.

Due to the closeness of both major mountain ranges to the coast and the rapid change in elevation thus produced, much of the precipitation, particularly in the south, remains on the seaward side of the mountains. The plethora of rivers that flow into the Bahía de Averillas owe much to this fact; the precipitation has also led to dramatic sculpting of limestone areas near the coast. The relief of the country as a whole also results in a surprisingly low population density throughout most of the various departments.

Álten Kesáru, the tallest stratovolcano in the Sierra Nevasiáni. Note the active cinder cones below the main summit.
Certainly the most striking feature of Gran Altiplano are the volcanic peaks of the Sierra Nevasiáni: with a maximum altitude of 6,973 metres at the summit of Álten Kesáru in Altiplano, they are visible from well offshore and, though dormant, continue to emit various volcanic gases through a number of solfataras or volcanic vents. Formed by the subduction of the Centerena oceanic plate beneath the South Valeyan continental plate, the resultant friction has both uplifted the overlying terrain and created a chain of volcanoes where the melting plate creates plumes in the upper mantle. Though most of the peaks are dormant, several have erupted in more recent years, making for a spectacle, though not causing significant environmental consequences. Three of the peaks, Torre Blanca, Kusánaren, and Pico Cerredo, have massive glaciers extending from their slopes; that of Torre Blanca in particular is a crucial source of fresh water for the relatively dry Altiplano province.

The other major mountain range that defines Gran Altiplano is the Cordillera Central, which forms the northern side of the altiplano. Though lower than their southern counterparts, they are nonetheless massive in their own right. However, these peaks are strictly created by faulting processes, which contributes to their being less rugged. Though historically too high for much use in terms of grazing or farming, they also receive more yearly precipitation that do the peaks of the Sierra Nevasiáni, which leads to much of the rainfall that waters the altiplano before draining into Lake Akylaren originating from the northern side.

Limestone peaks to the south of Coruña in Averillas on a summer afternoon.

Culture[edit]

  1. , Hilarión Carancho Menéndez, "Responsabilidades y sueños obreros", adreso dado al XXXVII Consejo Obrero, 21 marzo 2015.
  2. , The reason this particular threshold is so high is the relative urbanisation of the region; the Puerto Yunque – Tarancón metropolitan area contains approximately a quarter of Catamarca's 21.65 million inhabitants. The threshold was instated as an attempt to make sure that rural interests were not overwhelmed by any hypothetical party with an exclusively urban base.