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About San Splendido
A Country Guide to San Splendido.
SAN SPLENDIDO is a South American Republic situated on the northern coast of the South American Mainland, sandwiched between the nations of COSTA MOSQUITO and SANGRIA. To the south lies the far larger neighbour of COLOZIA.
The country is roughly rectangular in shape with a 200 mile coastline onto the Atlantic Ocean and stretches almost 300 miles into the mountainous Corazon jungles to the south.
The coastal region is bounded, to the west by the largest river in the country, the RIO VERDE. This mighty river was once the principal route into the interior. The river has two large lakes, the larger by far is LAGO DE VERDE, a natural lake some 30 miles long and 20 miles wide, with a thriving fishing industry. The smaller lake; LAGO DIABLO, was formed by the hydro-electric project needed to provide electricity for the the Bauxite mining and processing plants in the nearby mountains. A useful spinoff from this project is the increase in marine life in the river caused by the slight heating of the waters by the power station. To the east lies the RIO BELLA DONNA, which is still the principal route for coffee shipments grown further inland.
Further west lies the SAN ISABEL district; a fertile area across the RIO VERDE delta from the capitol PUERTO SPLENDIDO. This area features as its principal crops; bananas and sugar, with some logging to the north.
Inland from the coastal region, the country opens out into the grasslands of the central plains. These feature the vast cattle ranches, whose produce still represents the principal export of San Splendido. The centre of this district is the fiercely independent city of GAUCHO. Further to the east lies the city of JAS de DIOS, an area of some considerable sheep farming, but notable for the extensive vineyards situated on the slopes of the hills to the north of the city.
Further into the interior lie the CORAZON MOUNTAINS, thickly covered in tropical jungle and inhabited by the indigenous natives of the area; the CORAZON INDIANS. These mysterious people have been largely untouched by civilisation", except to the west where they are employed in the mining communities of DIABLO. There has been no reliable estimate made so far of their numbers.
The country in general is thickly forested in all areas, except for the cattle ranches of the central plain and the central belt of the San Isabel district. The forests range from commercially viable types of timber, to the valueless and impenetrable tropical jungle to the south. Offshore there are a number of small islands, the largest to which is Del MANO de DIOS, called after its, now extinct, volcano.
The weather is given to early morning mists and heavy rains over the mountains, however the central regions enjoy good weather for much of the year. There is a thriving tourist industry centred around the capitol, San Splendido.Back to Contents
The principal method of transport over any great distance is by rail, run by the NATIONAL RAILROAD COMPANY, a state owned and heavily -subsidised monopoly. Most of the industry of the country depends on the railroad and there is a separate branch of the armed forces dedicated to its upkeep and protection.
BELLA DONNA. This bridge, crossing the three mile river estuary, in the largest engineering project in the country, second only to the hydro-electric dam forming LAGO DIABLO.
The only metalled roads in the country follow the line of the railroad along the coast connecting PUERTO SPLENDIDO and GARCIA, and from PUERTO SPLENDIDO to the oil refineries of ARPAZ along the east bank of the RIO VERDE. All other roads vary from reasonably well maintained gravel roads in the vicinity of principal population centres, to unmarked (and unmapped) dirt tracks which are impassable in bad weather (and not very passable in good!).
The RIO VERDE is navigable for shipping all the way to PUERTO BLOGGS, named after the Catholic Missionary who helped establish the community, and is sometimes crowded with the colourful paddle steamers that are unique to this area. The DIABLO dam project has rendered the river unnavigable from a point some 10 miles north of LAGO DIABLO. Some timber, however, is shipped to PUERTO BLOGGS from mills on the bank of the RIO VERDE, north of the dam project.
The BELLA DONNA is used extensively in its southern regions as it is the only practical access to the coffee and logging area of DORADO. North of GOMEZ, its use as a highway for commercial produce has diminished since GOMEZ has been connected to the national rail network. Some produce, however, is still shipped all the way to GARCIA in picturesque river boats.
The country boasts only one international airport, situated on the outskirts of PUERTO SPLENDIDO, but there are a number of grass landing strips throughout the countryside. These serve some of the smaller communities and there is even an internal airline, SPLENDIDAIR, equipped with a few ageing Dakota DC-5s.
There is a national telephone system, cablegram and mail service, run by the state subsidised NATIONAL COMMUNICATION COMPANY (NCC); but few households outside the centres of population are equipped with telephones, and the mail service to outlying areas is restricted to weekly or even monthly deliveries when the weather is bad.
There is no national television service, although a satellite television company, SOLARIS, has opened recently in PUERTO SPLENDIDO and has proved fashionable with the wealthy. There is a thriving cinema industry, based in the capitol, as well as the Government controlled national radio station, the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.Back to Contents
SAN SPLENDIDO was first colonised by Spain in 1650, conquered by the British in 1682 and abandoned in 1693. It became an autonomous part of Spain in 1804 until independence in 1972. In the immediate post-war years SAN SPLENDIDO enjoyed much heavy investment in the cattle industry, and many of the cattle ranches are still owned by British companies.
The country is a Republic, with a democratically elected President. It was governed with appalling ineptitude by the previous President, Manuel "Y Magnifico" Garcia, until he was deposed in 1987 by the Military. The country had run up massive foreign debts with the Diablo Dam and Bella Donna Bridge projects. These investments have, so far, failed to produce the return that has hoped for in the investment, although the situation has improved somewhat. After hurriedly held elections, the new President has promised change.Back to Contents
SAN SPLENDIDO has, in the past, attempted to pursue a policy of neutrality; sandwiched as it is between the Socialist Republic of COSTA MOSQUITO and the right-wing dictatorship of SANGRIA; two traditional enemies. The country to the south, COLOZIA, is physically far larger than any of the other nations in the area, but is far too concerned with internal problems of its own, to pursue an effective foreign policy.
The Republic has some disputes with its neighbours. COSTA MOSQUITO claims all the land up to the western bank of the RIO VERDE. Principally this involves the fertile and prosperous SAN ISABEL district; but there are two other areas in dispute near PUERTO BLOGGS and DIABLO. Relations with SANGRIA have recently been made more difficult by the imposition of a tax on goods shipped through SANGRIA, by rail, to the port of SAN MARCOS. This has lowered profits from exports and consequently reduced Government income. Naturally a threat to this rail link is very important to SAN SPLENDIDO as, it is estimated, only 25% of this traffic could be handled by PUERTO SPLENDIDO.
The average San Splendian is naturally sympathetic to a right-wing viewpoint. This, however, has been tempered by the realisation that the disputed areas with COSTA MOSQUITO are militarily pretty indefensible. This, coupled with outside pressure from investors in the country who are anxious to have a neutral buffer between COSTA MOSQUITO and SANGRIA, has meant that a policy of neutrality has been followed. The fact that the San Splendian armed forces were regarded with more amusement than admiration, also had its part to play in this decision.
There are two areas where refugee camps have been set up, to cater for those fleeing from the regime in COSTA MOSQUITO and seeking asylum in SAN SPLENDIDO. These are at ARPAZ and PUERTO BLOGGS.
The country currently receives foreign aid from the USA, in an effort to prevent the spread of Communism in the area; from Great Britain in an effort to protect the investment of British interests in the area; and from the USSR for undisclosed reasons.Back to Contents
The President: El Presidente Don Alvaro de Castiglia
Minister for Internal Affairs: Minister Eduardo Axe
Minister for Trade and Commerce: Minister Gordon Pueblo
Finance Minister: Minister Manuel Pizzarro
The principal exports of SAN SPLENDIDO are Cattle, Coffee, Bauxite and Bananas; chiefly to the USA, Great Britain and the EEC. The Republic also exports Sugar, principally to COSTA MOSQUITO; and Cotton to Korea. Timber is also exported.
The country has some indigenous heavy and light industry, centred around GARCIA and the oil refineries of ARPAZ.
Principal imports include Grain, Cereals, Steel, Coal and Coke, Chemicals and Manufactured Goods. SAN SPLENDIDO is not agriculturally self-sufficient.
The currency of SAN SPLENDIDO is the San Splendian Peso. The exchange rate at the time of going to press was 10 Pesos to the US Dollar.Back to Contents
These people are described as "unspoiled", which means in this case ignored as too difficult. Estimates as to their actual numbers vary greatly, but there are probably between 10-35,000 in the area as a whole. It must be borne in mind however, that this area includes parts of COSTA MOSQUITO, COLOZIA, SAN SPLENDIDO and SANGRIA.
The development of the Diablo mining and dam project, has led to large scale exploitation of these natives as a source of cheap labour in the area. There is some political opposition to this; however, the mining companies are wealthy and influential.Back to Contents
In common with many developing countries, San Splendido is afflicted with a number of groups of individuals who are opposed to the Government, and who choose not to use the legal process. These vary from Left-wing Revolutionary forces based from across the border, to underground pseudo-intellectualist resistance movements. Below is a summary of the principal ones:
Vita Corazona The "Life for Corazon" movement is opposed to the exploitation of the Corazon Indians. It is a pseudo-intellectual anti-commercial movement. Principal spokesman Professor Dom de Marchese, of the Universidad de Puerto Splendido. Minor sabotage to mining equipment. Based in the Diablo area.
Veintecinco de Mayo The "25th of May" is an anarchic terrorist group, whose aim is to return the land to peasant farming. Their views on land reform are dangerous; however, the campaign has been less than successful due to botched operations and by confining much of their efforts in the big cities (where there are few peasants). Their leader, Basiho Lami, has been recently captured after accidentally shooting himself in the foot, while trying to escape after a failed robbery to obtain more funds for the movement.
Los Muchachos de Plata The "Silver Boys" are a small criminal group masquerading themselves as "Freedom Fighters", when their sole aim is to make money. They operate in the area bounded by Gaucho, Diablo and Puerto Bloggs. They are popular with the local peasants and are led by Juan Zayas (Reward 1 Million Pesos). Reasonably successful.
La Fuego Primo The "First Fire" is an anti-communist terrorist group based in Puerto Splendido and Garcia. Responsible for attacks on the Costa Mosquitan Embassy, and a number of murders of suspected communist infiltrators in the refugee camps of Arpaz and Puerto Bloggs. There is some sympathy for them in some sections of the Government, but otherwise they are a small group with limited Resources.
El Camino Roja" The "Red way" is the name given to the left-wing revolutionary forces from Costa Mosquito. These use the river valley of the Rio Verde, between San Splendido and Colozia, as their main supply route to Sangria. There are rebel strongholds on the boarder to the East of Dorado and in the area where San Splendido, Sangria and Colozia meet. Sangrian forces have been known to stage "hot pursuit" raids into San Splendido recently, and the Rebels have attacked mining camps in the Dorado region to gain access to explosives.
Los Populos Verde The "Green People" are a fanatical vegetarian brotherhood, opposed to the cattle trade. They are few in number and lack support, but have staged some small acts of sabotage in the Gaucho area. The main concern of the Police is the hope that the authorities catch these people before the cattle ranchers do...Back to Contents
Much weight has been given in the foreign (particularly the American) press recently about the supply of drugs from San Splendido. This is greatly exaggerated. It is freely granted that cannabis is grown now, as it has been for a great many years, and that some cocaine is produced (what coffee producing nation is free of this?), but the Government is opposed to this trade, and has the situation firmly under control.
The Camino Roja rebels, however, are known to produce cocaine in the mountains to the east of Dorado. Is the Government of San Splendido to be held responsible for this? This area is isolated and not suitable for traditional military operations; nevertheless the Government forces take every opportunity to stamp out this trade and the people who profit from it.Back to Contents
Under the previous regime of the disposed dictator, Manuel "Y Magnifico" Garcia, there existed a shadowy group of thugs and murderers purporting to be a branch of the anti-revolutionary Police. These individuals worked under the direct instructions of the Dictator, and anyone who opposed the regime was threatened, beaten up, or worse. These "Lubricators", as they were called, whose job was to "smooth the wheels of Government", were all removed on the election of the new, democratically elected, President; and the department has been dissolved. Certain Government officials are under investigation for exceeding their powers.
A new anti-terrorist Police branch has been set up to protect the Government, controlled personally by the President.Back to Contents
Government income and expenditure in San Splendido is as follows (Billions of Pesos):
|Defence Ministry||10||Personal Taxation||56|
|Trade and Industry||10||National Industry||1|
|Transport Ministry||11||Foreign Aid||20|
|Housing Ministry||4||Foreign Loans||5|
|Health Ministry||5||Internal Loans||1|
|Art and Libraries||1|
|Total Expenditure||109||Total Income||109|
Foreign Aid. This comes from 3 sources: The USA (9 BnP), in the form of 5 BnP in cash and 4 BnP in spares and training for the spares and training for the Agriculture Ministry; and the USSR (8 BnP), in cash. Applications for further foreign loans have been refused.Back to Contents
Capitol city, port, tourist centre, rail terminus, Army HQ, international airport, some light industry, some logging, radio station, communication centre, Navy HQ, seat of Government. Population: 2,000,000
Centre of heavy industry, main rail terminus and link to SAN MARCOS, port, light industry, some logging, Militia HQ. Population: 1,300,000
Centre of cattle industry, slaughterhouses, cattle markets, canneries, meat packing plants, rail terminus, leather industry, Militia HQ. Population: 630,000
Light industry, refugee centre, oil refineries, port, some logging, fishing, rail terminus, Militia HQ. Population: 600,000
Port, fishing, timber, sawmills, refugee centre, paper mill, religious centre, Militia HQ, Naval base. Population: 420,000
JAS DE DIOS
Some light industry, rail terminus, cotton, cattle, sheep, vineyards, Militia HQ. Population: 380,000
Coffee, some timber, sawmills, cotton, river port, rail terminus, Militia HQ. Population: 360,000
Bananas, sugar, port, some logging, Militia HQ. Population: 350,000
Bauxite mines, some coffee, hydro-electric power, processing plants, rail terminus, some timber, Militia HQ. Population: 320,000
Main coffee growing area, some logging, river port, Militia HQ. Population: 270,000
Fishing port, some logging, some bananas, some tourism. Population: 70,000
Note: The above figures are Government estimates.Back to Contents