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| Berinese Empire |
Imperio berinés (es)
Que su reinado señor, dure la eternidad
|Capital (and largest city)||Bal de Or|
|-Emperor||Richard I Paul|
|-Grand Duchess||Runa Lisandra|
|Established||- April 15th, 2012|
|Legislature||None - legislation by Imperial decree.|
- "Berin" redirects here. For other uses of this term, see Republic of Berin
The Berinese Empire (Spanish: Imperio berinés) or the Empire of the Great Berin (Imperio del Gran Berín) or simply Berin is a Venezuelan-Costa Rican micronational state settled in the city of Mérida, Venezuela with claims in the United States and Costa Rica. The term "Empire of Berin" is used to distinguish the current state with former incarnations in the same area with the same name, such as the State of Berin, the Berinese Confederation or the Republic of Berin. Berin follows a state atheism principle, but it promotes the idea of religious freedom.
Spain's colonization of mainland Venezuela started in 1522, establishing its first permanent South American settlement in the city of Cumaná. The 16th century also saw fitful attempts at German colonization. Native caciques (leaders) such as Guacaipuro (c. 1530–1568) and Tamanaco (died 1573) attempted to resist Spanish incursions, but the newcomers ultimately subdued them; Tamanaco was put to death by order of Caracas' founder Diego de Losada. In the 16th century, during the Spanish colonization, indigenous peoples such as many of the Mariches, themselves descendants of the Caribs rejected paganism and embraced Roman Catholicism. Some of the resisting tribes or leaders are commemorated in place names, including Caracas, Chacao, and Los Teques. The early colonial settlements focussed on the northern coast, but in the mid-18th century the Spanish pushed further inland along the Orinoco River. Here the Ye'kuana (then known as the Makiritare) organised serious resistance in 1775 and 1776.
After a series of unsuccessful uprisings, Venezuela—under the leadership of Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan marshal who had fought in the American Revolution and the French Revolution—declared independence on 5 July 1811. This began the Venezuelan War of Independence. However, a devastating earthquake that struck Caracas in 1812, together with the rebellion of the Venezuelan llaneros, helped bring down the first Venezuelan republic. A second Venezuelan republic, proclaimed on 7 August 1813, lasted several months before being crushed as well.
Sovereignty was only attained after Simón Bolívar, aided by José Antonio Páez and Antonio José de Sucre, won the Battle of Carabobo on 24 June 1821. José Prudencio Padilla and Rafael Urdaneta's victory in the Battle of Lake Maracaibo on 24 July 1823, helped seal Venezuelan independence. New Granada's congress gave Bolívar control of the Granadian army; leading it, he liberated several countries and founded Gran Colombia.
Much of Venezuela's 19th century history was characterized by political turmoil and dictatorial rule, including Independence leader José Antonio Páez, who gained the presidency three times and served a total of eleven years between 1830 and 1863. This culminated in the Federal War (1859–1863), a civil war in which hundreds of thousands died, in a country with a population of not much more than a million people. In the latter half of the century Antonio Guzmán Blanco, another caudillo, served a total of thirteen years between 1870 and 1887, with three other presidents interspersed.
In 1895 a longstanding dispute with Great Britain about the territory of Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of British Guiana and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, erupted into the Venezuela Crisis of 1895. The dispute became a diplomatic crisis when Venezuela's lobbyist William L. Scruggs sought to argue that British behaviour over the issue violated the United States' Monroe Doctrine of 1823, and used his influence in Washington, D.C. to pursue the matter. Then US President Grover Cleveland adopted a broad interpretation of the Doctrine that did not just simply forbid new European colonies but declared an American interest in any matter within the hemisphere. Britain ultimately accepted arbitration, but in negotiations over its terms was able to persuade the US on much of the details. A tribunal convened in Paris in 1898 to decide the issue, and in 1899 awarded the bulk of the disputed territory to British Guiana.
Democratic Period (1958-present)
The military dictator Pérez Jiménez was forced out on 23 January 1958. In an effort to consolidate the young democracy, the major political parties (with the notable exception of the Communist Party of Venezuela) signed the Punto Fijo Pact. Democratic Action and COPEI would dominate the political landscape for four decades. The 1960s saw substantial guerilla movements, including the Armed Forces of National Liberation and the Revolutionary Left Movement, which had split from Democratic Action in 1960. Most of these movements lay down their arms under Rafael Caldera's presidency (1969–73); Caldera had won the 1968 election for COPEI, being the first time a party other than Democratic Action took the presidency through a democratic election.
The election of Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1973 coincided with the 1973 oil crisis which saw Venezuela's income explode as oil prices soared. This led to massive increases in public spending, but also increases in external debts, which continued into the 1980s when the collapse of oil prices during the 1980s crippled the Venezuelan economy. As the government started to devalue the currency in February 1983 in order to face its financial obligations, Venezuelans' real standard of living fell dramatically. A number of failed economic policies and increasing corruption in government led to rising poverty and crime, worsening social indicators, and increased political instability. Corruption remains a problem; Venezuela was ranked near the bottom of countries in the Corruptions Perceptions Index in 2009.
In April 2002, Chávez was briefly ousted from power in the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt following popular demonstrations by his opposers, but he was returned to power after two days as a result of popular demonstrations by his supporters and actions by the military. Chávez also remained in power after an all-out national strike that lasted more than two months Venezuelan general strike of 2002–2003 in December 2002 – February 2003, including a strike/lockout in the state oil company PDVSA, and an August 2004 recall referendum. He was elected for another term in December 2006.
The Imperial Chart (Declaration of Autonomy), Empire of Berin and the Paulean Era
The Declaration of Autonomy (Declaración de Autonomía), the Declaratio Independentiae was signed by Richard Garrshire the April 14th, declaring himself Emperor of the Beriners and Imperial Authority of the Berinese Empire. The Imperial Chart would be the latter official declaration of independence of the Empire of Berin. This micronational entity was intended to be comical and not serious, which can still be seen in many aspects of the political system of the Empire and its national identity as a whole. The process of "Seriousification" (Seriamiento) or the "straightening" (Enderezamiento) is the process employed to convert the Empire of Berin into a "serious, raw micronation". Of course, this is, among other things, part of the comical side of Berin.
The Empire quickly developed an easy-working and simple governmental system. An absolute monarchy seemed like a very useful and coherent idea based in number of population and sphere of influence of the Empire. The Imperial power turned into the most important factor in the Empire, and the Emperor was now the only important in Berin. With no legislature, no military, no foreign relations and no major event happening, Berin was an empty and lonely carcass in the micronational world. Seeking an involvement of foreign micronational powers, the Empire saw the creation of the Order of the Baphomet. The start of the Paulean era.
Berinese political system is based in an absolute monarchy, centred in the Emperor of Berin (Spanish: Emperador de Berin). The Imperial power is, for those Berinese citizens, a dignified only power. The national laws are saved in the 'Capitulación Imperial de Leyes, the "Imperial Capitulation of Laws", used in "the right of the Berinese population in order of the Imperial power". Freedom of speech is complete, though offences against other people, Berinese citizens or not, based in race, sexual orientation or gender are banned, religious offences might be considered for ban by the Imperial authority. The Imperial family is an oligarchic power, with influences in the government. Democracy is not a disbanded concept in Berinese politics, but due to the small amount of citizens and the small participation in political activities of such, a democratic system would be impossible to work. Berinese politics are unitary, all based in the central power in the capital city and district of Bál de Or, seat of the government (the Imperial authority). Still, the American territory of Berin has a Viceroy representing the Imperial power in it. Any kinds of religious manifestations are banned from the Berinese territory, apart from speeches, any kind of religious activity can be banned.
Berin is divided in prefectures, regions and Viceroyalties. In total, the Empire of Berin counts with nine divisions, six prefectures in the mainland, one region in the mainland and one region in the Pacific territory (Costa Rica) and one Viceroyalty, located in the Northern territory in the United States. There are six prefectures, which are:
- Bál de Son
- San Marco
- Nueva Nueva Granada
And the two regions, which are San José de Ilustres in the Pacific region and Pico de Oro in the mainland. The difference between regions and prefectures is that prefectures have no autonomy and no government of their own, while regions can have local representatives of the Imperial authority. As well, the Viceroyalty, New Altamira (Nueva Altamira) has more autonomy than regions and prefectures, since it is represented in the right of the Imperial power with a direct Viceroy.
The Imperial power
| Monarchical styles of|
the Emperor of Berin
|Reference style||His Imperial Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial Majesty|
The Imperial Power or Imperial Authority (Spanish: Autoridad imperial) is the name used to refer directly to the Emperor of Berin and its power in the political system of Berin. The Emperor has an almost limitless power over Berinese politics and all kinds of affairs. Contrary to the system employed in many other Absolute monarchies, the Emperor or Empress regnant is not at the same time a prime minister, since there is no need for this position in Berinese politics at all, since it is a non-democratic entity that has no intentions of partisan politics and roles. In principle, the Emperor or Empress regnant of Berin is the only power that exists in Berinese political affairs. The Imperial power shall not be confused with the called Imperial Presence (Presencia imperial) that refers to any member of the Imperial family.
The Imperial family of Berin is currently the Garbí line, that excludes the related Oviedo line that in former monarchial incarnations of Berin had an important role, but was related only by one person in common, the Berinese Emperor Richard I Paul. The Imperial family has a barely important role in Berinese politics, however, the Grand Duke or Duchess has privilege over other Imperial family members since it is the second most important member after the Emperor or Empress itself, and receives treatments that no other member of the Imperial family are given with.
There is no law against the gender or age of the reigning Emperor or Empress. Marriage, as it is not an activity supported by the state, will not happen inside the Imperial circle. This is why Consorts, either be Empress Consort or Emperor Consort, are not a real title for anyone in Berin. Though, people who sympathize (romantically or not) with the Emperor or Empress can receive titles of other classes, usually Duke, Marquis or Count.
References and Notes
- Gott (2005:203)
- Zakaria, Fareed, From Wealth to Power (1999). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691010358. pp145–146
- R. A. Humphreys (1967), "Anglo-American Rivalries and the Venezuela Crisis of 1895", Presidential Address to the Royal Historical Society 10 December 1966, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 17: pp131-164
- Health and Neoliberalism: Venezuela and Cuba
- "Corruption Perceptions Index 2009", Transparency International
- The coup installed chamber of commerce leader Pedro Carmona. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1927678.stm%7Ctitle=Profile: Pedro Carmona
- "Venezuela 2002–2003: Polarisation, Confrontation, and Violence," Margarita López Maya; in Olivia Burlimgame Guombri, ed., The Venezuela Reader. 2005, Washington D.C., U.S.A. Page 16.