|Flag of Sargossa|
|Motto: "Let Them Hate Us, As Long As They Fear Us"|
|Map of Sargossa|
|Official Language(s)||Sargossan, Spanish, English|
|Leader||General Gregorio Emparán|
|Population||c. 8 billion|
|NS NSTracker Sunset XML|
The Republic of Sargossa is an archipelago located in the northeast of the region of Rushmore. Its nearest neighbours are Candelaria And Marquez to the southwest, Nethertopia to the south and the Polar Islandstates to the north.
The Republic of Sargossa is a colossal, environmentally stunning nation, remarkable for its irreverence towards religion. Its hard-nosed, hard-working, cynical population are ruled with an iron fist by the corrupt, dictatorship government, which oppresses anyone who isn't on the board of a Fortune 500 company. Large corporations tend to be above the law, and use their financial clout to gain ever-increasing government benefits at the expense of the poor and unemployed.
The large, pro-business government juggles the competing demands of Law & Order, Education, and Healthcare. It meets every day to discuss matters of state in the capital city of Soluca. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Arms Manufacturing industry, followed by Gambling, Tourism and Beef-Based Agriculture. The nation is also a popular destination for immigration thanks to its strong economy, high wages and low tax rate.
Sargossa's national animal is the Great Manta, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests, and its currency is the dinara.
Birth Of A Nation
Discovered in an indeterminable year by the great explorer Luca Sargo, the islands of the Sargossan Archipelago were gradually colonised by, predominantly Spanish, settlers from Europe. Landing on the largest island, named Sargosso after its discoverer, Sargo and his expedition quickly set up trading colonies along the southern coast and started exploring northwards towards the island’s interior and across the narrow straits to the south east to the neighbouring island of Cormino.
Shortly after penetrating deeper into the larger island contact was made with the island’s inhabitants. They too were slightly Hispanic in appearance, although whether by some strange anthropological quirk or as evidence of a much earlier European attempt at colonisation remains a mystery. What is known is that these native settlements were, not always voluntarily, absorbed into the rapidly expanding European enclave. As more and more settlers poured into Sargosso’s ports the European influence extended both north and south, bringing Larissa and Midea into the fold five and six years respectively after the first colony was founded.
The western island of Inca, along with its ruins of a much older civilisation, was added a year later. With the integration of Quella some ten years after the first colony on Sargosso was founded the nation achieved the borders it still holds to this day. And it did indeed become a nation in its own right as, unnoticed by the already colony heavy European powers, the new land now known as Sargossa quietly cut its ties with its European masters.
There followed decades of civil unrest, sabre rattling and eventually brutal and bloody conflict, the so-called Unification Wars, between the various islands before Sargossa settled into life as the nation it is today. But we won't bore you with the details. Ever hungry for exploration Sargossan sailors set out all over Rushmore, eventually establishing the wider colonies that now form the Greater Sargossan Republic.
The Alternate Version
It is worth noting that the above is the most commonly accepted account of the nation’s founding. There is however a strong school of thought that believes a slightly less palatable version of events. Specifically that Luca Sargo rather than being a noted explorer was instead an infamous pirate who, upon stumbling across the largest of the archipelago’s islands, found its many bays and inlets useful as ports from which to strike out at passing shipping as well as secluded hiding places for both himself and his ill gotten gains. Such was his success that many more of his ilk were attracted to Sargosso and the neighbouring islands until eventually a thriving community could be found there.
Not willing to concede that their fine nation is descended from a community of wanton criminals, successive governments have been trying to stamp out this particular version of events for the better part of two centuries. Despite their attempts the belief still lives on, fuelled in no small part by the fact that at one time the waters in and around the archipelago were indeed rife with piracy.
After its founding the nation struggled to break itself fully from colonial thinking and during its early years Sargossa was ruled by a Viceroy with all the trappings of a European court. Although fine to begin with, as the years went on and the system became increasingly outdated the people became restless. Eventually there was widespread rebellion and the vice-regency was overthrown. Short-lived civilian leaders came and went, each starting with high hopes but seemingly corrupted by the allure of power, before a coup installed military rule across the Archipelago. The country settled down under the Junta and gradually forged itself into a strong, progressive and stable nation. With that achieved the Junta was disbanded and elections were held for the first time in decades.
For much of its recent history the Republic of Sargossa was a representative democracy, at least that’s what we’d say if anyone asked. Technically speaking the government was heading by a President and, still technically speaking, every four years the nation held a presidential election. Although in the past such events have been tarnished by accusations of bribery, vote rigging, intimidation and even more murky unpleasantness too numerous to list. The presidential race between Carlos Dudamel and José Soto was a particularly notorious case in point. When the votes were finally counted it emerged that Dudamel had secured a staggering 94% of the vote. Normally a cause for celebration except that Soto himself had somehow managed to land 107%. Meaning more than twice the nation’s entire population had somehow cast a vote. A curious phenomenon or perhaps the vote riggers got a touch over-eager. But this being Sargossa it was conveniently ignored and Soto was duly sworn in. Although he didn’t last long. They rarely do.
Stick It Up Your Junta
So corrupt and complacent had those within Soluca’s corridors of power become that they never saw their eventual fate coming. The final straw came when then President Juan Manuel Rojas and his cronies started siphoning off funds, intended for a pay rise for the military, into their own personal accounts. It proved a bad idea. When the soldiers arrived at the Presidential Palace no one tried to stop them, the military being firmly behind their own leaders and the police and other security forces helpfully paid off by some of the President’s wealthier opponents. Army commander Joaquín Delgado was duly sworn in as the head of a new ruling Junta.
Inevitably, promised elections later in the year never actually happened. The new leader found he rather enjoyed the trappings of power and instead reorganized his ruling cabal into a more government shaped entity, with each position directly appointed by the President.
Somewhat more surprisingly is the fact that the following years of dictatorship have not been entirely unpopular. Admittedly the populace's political freedoms, such as they were, have now flat lined but the notoriously politically apathetic Sargossan people aren't overly bothered about a little thing like that. Money tends to be more of an interest and massive economic growth under the military regime, coupled with consistently low tax rates, equals one generally happy population. Interestingly since the dictatorship came to power the civil rights situation, as dictated by those seemingly omnipresent World Assembly observers, has actually improved. Edicts legalising the likes of euthanasia, abortion and same sex marriages have undeniably given citizens an almost unprecedented freedom of choice.
To this day the military regime remains in firm control, with dissenting voices swiftly dealt with and occasional sweeping tax cuts thrown in to keep the ever growing populace sweet.
The Admin Bit
Organisationally the nation is divided into eight administrative regions. Each region is governed, suitably enough, by a Governor who is appointed by the President. Each of the nation’s six main islands comprise an administrative region with the final, and largely ignored, two being Emo and Isla Oscuro (one region) and Isla Centralé, Isla Poco and Isla Tonto (despite their geographical distance to one another, the eighth region). The configuration of the regions have changed over the years but have remained much the same for the nation’s recent history. The decision of the Islas Blancas group to hand over administrative control to the Governor of Midea being the only recent alteration of note. The Sargossan overseas territories of Costa Azula, Santazuela, Curamunga and the Islas Ominas chain all hold a certain amount of semi-autonomy but still ultimately answer to Soluca. Their respective First Ministers are appointed by the Sargossan President and their actions are overseen by the Colonial Ministry.
- President of the Republic: General Gregorio Emparán
- Vice President of the Republic: Miguel Trucco
- Minister for the Interior: General Raúl Delgado
- Minister for Foreign Affairs: José Carizzo
- Minister for Colonial Affairs: General Luís Medrano
- Minister of Defence: General Lucas Ayala
- Minister of Justice: Elena Delgado-Emparán
- Minister of Finance: Juán Pablo Dorado
- Minister of Information: Roberto Dorival
- Minister for Trade & Commerce: Vítor Bonilla
- Minister of Health: Dr Adriana Cruz
- Minister of Education: Alda Montoya
- Minister of Transport: Enrique Torres
- Minister for Communications: Jaime De La Vega
- Minister of Agriculture: Francisco Sandoval
- Minister for Tourism: César Angelís
- Minister for Sport: Domingo Orbina
- Minister for the Environment: Carla Espinóza
For much of its early history Sargossa had practised strict isolationism. Finally becoming bored rigid with its own company the nation branched out into the wider world, first through international sport then thanks to the discovery that neighbouring nations are willing to buy cheap goods at hugely inflated prices should you be sociable and establish some trade links.
It wasn’t until the military regime of General Joaquín Delgado that the nation officially opened its doors to foreign diplomats. Kasper Ubernüven of Somewhereistonia was the first foreign ambassador on Sargossan soil but was followed shortly by his Excellency Maximiliano Bustamante, representing neighbouring Candelaria And Marquez. The Candelariasian delegation took up home at 8 Avenida de la Independencia and soon found new neighbours with the arrival of a Nethertopian delegation headed by Ben Bovenlander at No. 9. Bayard Migneault of Pasarga ensured that all of the big four nations were represented in Soluca
The Foreign Ministry in turn dispatched César Saavedra and Arturo Araya to represent Sargossan interests in Qasarian and Albrecht respectively. And, in a rare progressive move, Adriana Di Santo become the first female diplomat to represent Sargossa, in Peregrinus City. Torgos would also host a Sargossan embassy, headed by Cristian Zelaya.
As the region has blossomed the Sargossan love of money and trade has ensured that relations with the wider region have remained largely cordial. Although territory claims on the islands of Kűlmsaar and Terra Scotia has caused tensions between the government in Soluca and the Polarians t’up north.
Sargossa is made up of a number of islands but the ‘big six’ are . . .
The largest of the islands that form the archipelago and the seat of the nation’s government. Sargosso was the first island discovered (although how they missed the others is anyone’s guess) and subsequently colonised. It, like the nation itself, takes its name from Luca Sargo, the man credited (regardless of motives) with effectively founding the nation.
For the first 40 years of Sargossan independence the individual islands formed their own ruling bodies and there was little coordination, not to mention agreement, between them. It was decided that a central seat of power was required. Sargosso with its historical significance and centralised location was the obvious choice and a suitable area was found towards the island’s centre for the founding of the new national capital. And so Soluca was born and has grown gradually into the sprawling metropolis it is today.
Sargosso is a hub for shipping with three of the nation’s largest ports (Porto Alegro, Daroca and Cordova) located along its southern shore and it’s noted for the busyness of its surrounding waters. There is a large iron and bauxite mining operation in the north east of the island. And the western resort city of Dunas is a popular entertainment and holiday destination for locals and foreign visitors alike.
There has long existed feelings of deep mistrust if not outright hostility between the residents of Cormino and bigger neighbour Sargosso. Corminites believe they often get a raw deal from the national government and a large number believe they shouldn’t be taking instructions from Soluca at all. Goza, Cormino’s principal city is the largest and most populous in the archipelago and consequently the locals don’t believe they should be playing second fiddle to anyone. Indeed there’s a groundswell of opinion suggesting maybe the island would be better off going it alone.
On one notorious occasion they tried just that but their attempted breakaway was met with swift and bloody reprisals from Soluca. Most of the island’s settlements threw in the towel quickly but Goza, newly proclaimed capital of an independent Cormino held out. Naturally the harshest treatment was reserved for Goza itself where hundreds died in bitter clashes between civilians and the Sargossan army. It was no contest and the uprising lasted a mere week before all Cormino was dragged back into line. Since then the government in Soluca has viewed Cormino in general and Goza in particular with deep suspicion.
Aside from revolution and troublemakers Cormino is also home to, among many other things obviously, Sargossa’s most popular cricket and rugby leagues and the archipelago’s largest Nethertopian community, based in the southern town of Roseau.
Sargossa’s most northern (just about) island is noted particularly for being home to the Tropica Corporation’s vast cigar business. Both the tobacco plantations and the factories are based on the island and are shipped all over the world from the port of Jucaro. A significant percentage of the Midean population are employed in the tobacco fields and over time the islands inhabitants have come to be regarded as, well, a bit thick by the rest of the nation due to that agricultural background. Although it clearly doesn’t stop people visiting as the coastal resort town of Vina Del Mar is regularly voted the nation’s most pleasant holiday destination.
The western island of Inca is noted for its large lush jungles and the tall peaks of the Andean mountain range. It’s also home to well maintained ruins of a civilisation that called the island home hundreds of years prior to Luca Sargo’s cronies got their greedy hands on it. The presence of these ruins all around the island attracted swarms of academics to Inca and today the island is regarded as being home to Sargossa’s finest minds. The principal city of Torreón is not only the nations’ highest, perched as it is high up in the Andeans, but also the site of the archipelago’s first, and today the most highly regarded, university.
The discovery of large offshore oil and gas deposits has also led to Inca becoming the centre of the both the nation’s petrol (based in Mercada) and energy (Puerto Lempira) industries. Making Inca a curious blend of breathtaking natural beauty and fume belching refineries and rigs.
Not a lot to say about Quella really. It is the nation’s second largest island. That’s something I suppose. Oh, and Maturín is the third largest city. Aside from being home to a whole load of particularly fertile farmland, including the sugar plantations that help produce Sargossa’s famous spiced rum, that’s about it.
The southernmost main island of the Sargossan Archipelago. Larissa’s principal contribution to Sargossan life is meat, well beef technically. Larissan beef is regarded as being just that slightly bit better than all the alternatives and is one of the nation’s biggest exports.
Sargossa’s fastest growing city can also be found on the southern tip of the Silva Peninsula. Attracted by the similar Hispanic culture, that and the higher average wage and lower tax rate, San Silva became home to large numbers of people emigrating from the Canderlarias. Often wrongly referred to as the ‘Candelarian Diaspora’ (the vast majority of them are Marquezian) by the government in Soluca, they form the largest immigrant population in Sargossa. In fact so many took a shine to San Silva and made a home there that the city started to be referred to as San Marquez, a name change that has since been made official.
If there’s one area that Sargossans take incredibly seriously it’s that of cold, hard currency. So unsurprisingly the nation has become an economic success. Indeed the most recent World Assembly census categorised the Sargossan economy as ‘Frightening’ while the nation’s GDP per capita is regularly among the largest in all of Rushmore.
Cigars, various types of rum and copious amounts of beef and some seriously heavy weaponry are currently the nation’s largest exports. Which is good for our pockets if not for global health and wellbeing. More recently gambling and tourism have become boom industries across the Greater Republic.
Sargossa is a nation notable for its love of sport. Football is by far the biggest sport in the archipelago and the country is represented on the world stage by the national football team. In its pomp the Liga Sargossa was ranked among the world’s top ten domestic leagues. More recently the league structure has merged with its Pasargan counterparts to form the Liga de Fuego.
Football may rule the roost but there’s plenty of room for other sporting activities. Tennis, volleyball and golf are all hugely popular, athletics and swimming are both enjoying a spike in popularity and funding while the nation has also had some international exposure in cricket and Formula 1. Sargossa is a regular competitor at the Olympic Games and topped the medal table at the inaugural Rushmori Games.