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CENTURION’S History and Timeline of the

Central and South American Conflicts

Federation of Bolivarian States (La Federacion de Estados Bolivianos- FEB)

History

The FEB is a socialist federation of nine member states that are primarily located in South America; Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.  The predecessor to the FEB was a six-state member confederation, los Estados Bolivarianos del Sur (EBS- Southern Bolivarian States).  The FEB was formed in December 17, 2001 after the signing of the Treaty of Bolivar by the nine member states.  The federation shares a centralized government, mutual defense, social programs and an economic union while maintaining a degree of autonomy in internal and cultural affairs.  The FEB was largely formed as a result of centuries-long US interventions and exploitation in Latin America. 

Geopolitical and Current Events

Threatened by continued US meddling in Latin America and having regional hegemonic aspirations, the FEB, has been undermining the security and government of their neighbor Copan.  The FEB is hostile to the US and Copanian interests by actively supporting the overthrow of the US-backed Copanian government.  The support includes covert funding of a left-wing insurgency and political undermining of the government.  It secretly trains a proxy paramilitary force known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias para la Igualdad Social- FARIS).  FARIS has training camps in both the FEB and Copan.  The FEB funneled money to the far-left Copanian political party Bolivarian Movement (Muvimiento Bolivariano- MB) in attempts to undermine their elections.  The FEB has also allowed the production of illicit drugs (cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamines) within its borders to go unchecked which are flooding US and Western nations.  Profits are laundered through FEB accounts and business fronts that fund FARIS’ operations. 

The FEB currently struggles with internal and external troubles.  The Organization Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found FEB military officials deeply involved in local and international corruption as well as having connections with drug cartels such as La Mano Roja and Los Jefes.  Additionally, in 2009, the FEB has kicked out private investors and energy companies, and nationalized various natural resources in order to further fund its social programs.  In recent events, the US invaded the FEB as a result of their involvement in a terrorist attack which killed US Congressman Joe Jackson (R-NC) in Blakely, Georgias Province Copan during a VIP visit. 

Geography

·        Area Total:  8,098,581 sq km

·        Land:  7,99,301 sq km

·        Water:  105,280 sq km

·        Climate: varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

·        Natural Resources: tin, natural gas, petroleum, zinc, tungsten, antimony, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, hydropower, diamonds

People & Society

·        Population: 451.3 million

·        Population Growth: 1.48%

·        Ethnicity: mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 68%, indigenous 20%, white 5%, black 1%, other 1%, unspecified 3%

·        Language: Spanish (official) 80.7%, English 65%, Quechua, 21.2%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1%, Literacy rate 85%.

·        Religion: Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5%

Government

The FEB is headed by president Estephan Torrez who in 2018, was constitutionally granted dictator-like executive powers authorized by its parliament from representatives of all nine states. 

·        Type: Democratic Socialist

·        Chief of State: President Estephan Torrez

·        Capital: Nueva Caracas

·        Legislature: Unicameral Camarade Diputados (130 seats)

·        Judiciary: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremode Justicia (consists of 12 judges or ministros)

·        Political Parties: Communistas (Far-left party); Socialitas para Justicia (Far-left party)

 

Economy

This resource rich country is under-developed due to its state-oriented investment policies, and nationalized natural resources which in turn have hurt foreign investment and interest.  Its large military and social program expenditures also lend to its economic instability.

·        Currency: Bolivars 

·        GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $183.72 billion

·        GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $12,900

·        Exports: $77.746 billion

Military & Security

The FEB military is a professional force benefitting from Russian and Cuban-taught curriculum and doctrine in their defense academies in all nine member states.  The readiness of the force is considered high due to the expenditures on its military.  Most of the FEB equipment is outdated but still highly effective.  Recently, great efforts have been made in modernizing the force with the help of newer Russian equipment.

·        Military Size: 789,000 total; 550,000 Army, 69,000 Navy, 65,000 Airforce, 105,000 Reserve   

·        Military Expenditures: 3.1% GDP

·        Federal Police: 32,000

Passport/Visa Requirements: 

US Department of State Travel Advisory Level for the FEB: 4-Extremely High Risk-Do Not Travel.

Travelers to the FEB should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country.  They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required for US citizens.  No visas are required for Copanian citizens.  US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country. 

Republic of Copan (La Republica de Copan- RC)

History

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War created power vacuums throughout most of Central and South America resulting in uncertainty, political infighting, economic instability and turmoil.  Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica continued to stagnate in post-cold war chaos.  Crime was rampant and control fluctuated between former US-backed dictators and military coups in all three countries.  The Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, was overthrown by the military with the US being accused of worsening situation by insufficient condemnation of the coup.  Many Latin American nations also believed the CIA sponsored the coup.  By late 2009, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica were finally rid their dictatorships and democratically elected new governments but remain in poverty and political turmoil.

In 2010, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias proposed the Treaty of Sandino to Honduras and Nicaragua to establish political, economic ties, and shared infrastructure through a mutual republic government; ideas party taken from the FEB’s successful treaties and the US Constitution.  Through the treaty, the three countries hoped to establish a republic that is economically and politically stable by utilizing regional strengths.  By the following year, in accordance with the Treaty of Sandino, the established presidents on Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica stepped down to become governors of their states.  The newly written constitution combined the three states to make the new Republic of Copan.   US President Barack Obama backed the new Copanian government with economic incentives and guarantees of US nation-building efforts.  US Military advisory and civil affair missions started in early 2011.

Geopolitical and Current Events

The developments in Copan did not go unnoticed.  The FEB moved to counter US efforts in the region due to the long-standing belief that US presence in Latin America are imperialistic and exploitative in nature. With the Copanian economy stagnating, continued corruption, systemic oligarchic inclinations and bureaucratic red tape, the FEB exploited the situation in their favor by fomenting unrest among the rural population such as the ‘campesinos’ (farmers) and manos de campo (field hands).   A growing number of Copanian citizens have begun expressing sympathy with the far-left Copanian political party el Movimiento Bolivariano (MB- Bolivarian Movement); a political party with very strong ties to the FEB.

Geography

·        Area Total:  1,001,521 sq km

·        Land:  999,301 sq km

·        Water:  2,220 sq km

·        Climate: varies with altitude; humid and tropical to cold and semiarid

·        Natural Resources: natural gas, petroleum, silver, iron, lead, gold, timber, diamonds

People & Society

·        Population: 25.9 million

·        Population Growth: 1.78%

·        Ethnicity: mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 61%, indigenous 25%, white 7%, black 1%, other 1%, unspecified 5%

·        Language: Spanish (official) 90.7%, English 65%, Mayan (official) 21.2%,Guarani, 0.6%, other native languages 0.4%, none 0.1% (2001 est.).  Literacy rate 85%.

·        Religion: Roman Catholic 76.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 8.1%, Protestant 7.9%, other 1.7%, none 5.5%

Government

Copan is headed by President Enrique Hugo Vasquez.  It has a very polarized Unicameral legislative branch divided along right-wing urban elites and left-wing rural poor.  The Copan judicial branch is considered very corrupt and sympathetic to insurgent and criminal activity especially in rural areas due to coerced or openly accommodating external influences.

·        Type: Democratic Republic

·        Chief of State: Enrique Hugo Vasquez

·        Capital: Raleighs

·        Legislature: Unicameral Camarade Diputados (100 seats)

·        Judiciary: Supreme Court or Tribunal Supremode Justicia (consists of 12 judges or ministros)

·        Political Parties: Muvimiento Bolivariano (Far-left party); Republicanos de Copan (Center-right party); Democracia y Libertad (Center-left party)

Economy

This resource rich country remains one of the least-developed countries in Latin America.  Its state-oriented investment policies hurt foreign investment interest in addition to being dependent on primary commodities -particularly oil, natural gas, coal, and coffee -which are subject to significant price volatility.   Copan’s economic development is also hampered by inadequate infrastructure, poverty, narcotrafficking, and an uncertain security situation.  Copan’s extensive black market is largely due to illicit drug production, and trafficking in humans and weapons. 

·        Currency: Copanian Colon   

·        GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): $13.72 billion

·        GDP per capita (Purchasing Power Parity): $1,900

·        Exports: $9.946 billion

Military & Security

The Copanian military is inexperienced, poorly trained, and poorly equipped.  The US is currently investing $132 million in both training and equipping its military.   Copanian leadership is also among the most corrupt in Latin America though some handpicked leadership has shown some promise.  The National Police is the most trusted state security apparatus although still susceptible to corruption.  The local police, particularly in the southern parts of the country, are notoriously corrupt due to insurgent activity and being grossly underpaid.  Some local police are active fighters in the insurgency or are associated with drug cartels.

·        Military Size: 119,000 total; 62,000 Army, 19,500 Navy, 9,500 Airforce, 28,000 Reserve/Militias   

·        Military expenditures: 2.1% GDP

·        National Police: 11,300

Passport/Visa Requirements: 

US Department of State Travel Advisory Level for Copan: 3- Reconsider Travel - Contains Areas with Higher Security Risk.

Travelers to the Copan should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country.  They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required for US citizens.  No visas are required for Copanian citizens.  US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country. 

United States of America

The US has a long and tumultuous history of involvement in Latin America.  Since 1823, when President James Monroe announced a protectorate over the Western hemisphere known as the Monroe Doctrine, the US has involved itself in the daily affairs of nations across Latin America, often on behalf of North American commercial interests or to support right-leaning forces against leftist leaders. While much of this support in the late 20th century was done in the interest of security against the Communist Tide, in the end it was the Latin population who suffered under US and Soviet (Russian) foreign policy.

The US intervened or outright invaded numerous countries going back to the latter part of the 19th century.  It also backed military coup d’états that installed dictatorships in Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.  Communist or left-leaning leaders, even if democratically elected, were met with US reprisal and bloody repression against leftist forces.  Most direct military involvement petered out after the end of the Cold War, although the US has been accused of granting at least tacit backing to coup in Honduras in 2009.

Today, the ties between the United States and most of Latin America, with the exception of certain countries such as Cuba and the FEB, are generally cordial, but there remain areas of tension between the two sides. Latin America is the largest foreign supplier of oil to the United States and its fastest-growing trading partner, as well as the largest source of drugs and US immigrants, both documented and illegal, all of which underline the continually evolving relationship between the two.

Since the founding of the FEB and Copan, there has been an ideological conflict in which the US wants to remain deeply involved in trade yet remains hostile to leftist ideology.  Outside of fair trade and selling oil, the FEB wants the US out of Latin American affairs and has hegemonic aspirations.  The FEB continues to undermine US influence in Copan assisting the insurgency in fighting the Copanian government and their Americans allies. This has recently culminated in the US invasion of the FEB May 1, 2019.

Cuba

Cuba enjoyed very strong relations with the US until the brutal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (1952-1959) was overthrown by Communist insurgents led by Fidel Castro in 1959.  Since then, the US/Cuban relations have been turbulent.  The US backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 were among the most precarious events.  During the Cold War, the US fought to eliminate communist influence in Latin America while Cuba provided combat advisors to communist insurgencies in numerous countries in Africa, and Central and South America promoting a worldwide communist revolution.

Cuba became increasingly isolated into the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviets and the end of the Cold War.  The Cuban economy and people suffered under US sanctions, and by losing the Soviets as a  primary trading partner along with the massive subsidies they provided.  Cuba consistently portrays the US embargo, in place since 1961, as the source of its difficulties. They have since entered bilateral co-operation with several South American countries, most notably Venezuela and Bolivia beginning in the late 1990s, especially after the Venezuela election of Hugo Chávez in 1999, who became a staunch ally of Castro's Cuba.  In return, Cuba supported of the Treaty of Bolivar and the formation of the FEB in 2001. 

As a result of efforts begun in 2014, US President Barack Obama announced a new policy of diplomatic and economic engagement to relations with the Cuban Government.  The US and Cuba reopened embassies in their respective countries in July 2015.  The ease in tensions however was short-lived.  Cuba has since been accused of using, with the possible help of the Russians, an unknown direct-energy weapon or spying technology against US diplomats in Cuba which produced mysterious traumatic brain injuries to US diplomats.  Additionally, Cuba directly and indirectly supports the left-wing insurgency in the budding democracy of Copan. The embargo has not been removed, and the relationship between the US and Cuba remains tense.  

Cuba’s deep political, economic and military relations with the FEB stem before the establishment of the federation with the nine individual founding nations.  The Cuban Communist Party has long supported communist and far left-wing political efforts in Latin America particularly in the FEB and its predecessor states.  The FEB is now Cuba’s largest trading partner.  Cuba’s military officers have worked extensively in the FEB, helping it establish a centralized curriculum with the additional help from the Russians.   All Cuban international endeavors are headed by its diplomatic corps as well as through their covert operatives within the Cuban intelligence agency, la Direccion de Inteligencia, which is one of the most widely respected, and feared, in Latin America.   Judging by its previous actions, Cuba will continue to be very active in the region for years to come.

Russia

Russian involvement in Latin America goes back to the beginnings of the Cold War (1947-1991).  The Soviet’s ambition for strategic proximity akin to the US’s in Europe was paramount for them. From the 1960s until the 1980s, the Soviet Union expanded its diplomatic, political, and military presence in Latin America despite the huge distance that separated the two regions and the limited common interests throughout their histories.  

Since the beginning, Soviet governments capitalized on two political issues in the region: capitalist exploitation and foreign (imperialist) domination.  Soviet-sponsored Communist parties attempted to mobilize industrial and agricultural workers against the "exploitation" imposed by the "ruling classes," and they rallied support against "foreign domination," usually by the US.  Soviet foreign policies and the foreign policies of the Communist parties throughout the world were virtually identical.  They infiltrated Western and Latin American universities through pro-Marxist sympathizers to promote dissention based on these political issues.  After the fall of the Berlin Wall, break up of the Soviet Union and subsequent end of the Cold War, Russia went into serious economic decline and retrenched its foreign affairs.  

Following economic and political turmoil during President Boris Yeltsin’s term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under President Vladimir Putin (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime sought to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country's geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth.  Once in the 21st century, the Russian economy has recouped, and in 2006 representatives from Russia signed a memorandum to discuss tighter economic relations with the South American countries in the Mercosur trading pact.

Approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2016, the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation is based on weakening the global leadership of the US by modifying the post-Cold War order, dividing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), increasing Putin’s international and internal legitimacy, and promoting Russian commercial, energy, economic and military interests in Latin America.

The Kremlin has employed various means to advance its strategy of broad objectives despite limited resources in Latin America. Weapons sales are popular because of attractive financing terms, technology transfer, and the ability to conduct training, which has increased the revenues of the Russian military industrial complex while expanding Moscow’s geopolitical influence. Customers who have traditionally purchased from the US and Europe, including Argentina, the FEB and Mexico, have purchased Russian air equipment in recent years.

At the same time, Latin American leaders are reciprocating Russia’s extended hand by visiting Russia in droves; Cuba’s Raúl Castro in 2015, Brazil’s Michel Temer and the FEB’s Estephan Torrez in 2017, and Argentina’s Mauricio Macri in 2018.   These visits demonstrate the highest level of bilateral ties.  Russia will undoubtedly continue to be engaged in Latin America in order to maintain and gain geopolitical leverage against the US.

Timeline:

·        1901-11:  Repeated interventions in Colombia's Panama province led Theodore Roosevelt to intervene and assist Panamanian independence from Colombia resulting in the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty which makes the US sovereign in the ten-mile wide Panama Canal Zone.

·        1912:  United Fruit Company begins operations in Honduras and later becomes a major force throughout Central America.

·        1914:  Panama Canal opens.

·        1918:  US army lands in Panama to protect United Fruit plantations.

·        1945-89:  Cold War ideology drives US Latin American policy.

·        1947:  President Harry S. Truman addresses Congress in what would come to be known as the Truman Doctrine, calling for the containment of communism, and later, leading to U.S. entry into wars in Vietnam and Korea to provide defense from communist takeovers. The doctrine becomes the basis for America’s Cold War policy.

·        1947:  Rio Pact signed, providing the US and Latin American countries a mutual defense against Communism.

·        1954:  CIA overthrows constitutional government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

·        1959: Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement removes the US-backed military dictatorship of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista and wins la Revolución Cubana (Cuban Revolution) installing a communist government.

·        1960:  CIA plots to depose or assassinate Fidel Castro during "Operation Mongoose".

·        1961:  Failed Bag of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

·        1962:  Missile Crisis with Cuba and USSR.

·        1977:  US and Panama sign a new treaty providing for Panamanian control of the canal in 1999.

·        1981-86:  Reagan administration officials secretly direct counter-revolutionary (contra) forces against the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. More than a dozen Reagan administrator officials are convicted of a variety of crimes in the "Iran-Contra Scandal."

·        1981-88:  Reagan administration strongly supports the Salvadoran military in their fight against the FMLN guerrillas.

·        1989:  The Berlin Wall—that separated communist East Berlin from democratic West Berlin for nearly 30 years—falls.

·        1989:  End of the Cold War diminishes Latin America's significance in US foreign policy. George Bush orders "Operation Just Cause," the invasion of Panama to capture CIA collaborator and dictator Manuel Noriega.

·        1991-99:  Collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War creates power vacuums throughout most of Central and South America resulting in uncertainty, political infighting, economic instability and turmoil.

·        1999: 

o   Panama begins sole operation of the Panama Canal.

o   Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica continue to stagnate in post-cold war chaos.  Crime is rampant and control fluctuates between former US-backed dictators and military coups in all three countries.

o   Panama, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru democratically elect leadership that are primarily anti-American due to years of US-intervention, stagnant economies, poverty, and US-backed dictatorships.  Many of the elections are not recognized by the US. 

o   Hugo Chavez wins the presidency in Venezuela.  His cult of personality skyrockets his popularity among Latin American countries, particularly neighboring states.

o   June 12: Panama, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru sign the Vargas Treaty to construct a union for economic interdependence, and a Latin American peace-keeping force.

·        2000:

o   Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru begin to fulfill the Vargas Treaty agreements solidifying their economic interdependence.

o   Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana move their economies to meet the Vargas Treaty requirements to become part of it as well.

o   With the success of the Vargas Treaty, Venezuela propose a new treaty; the Treaty of Bolivar, to establish a confederation between Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, which allows for the formation of a supra-multinational government with legislative, judicial and executive branches called the Estados Bolivarianos del Sur (EBS); precursor to the Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB).

o   July 15: Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru sign Peru’s Treaty of Fujiyama which expands the role of the mutual peacekeeping force into a defensive one.

·        2001:

o   January 1: Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru confederate to form a single political and economic unit to fulfill the Treaty of Bolivar and establish the EBS.

o   February 15: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana complete the economic requirements and sign on to the Treaty of Vargas.  The term ‘federation’ becomes widely used at the signing of the Treaty of Vargas by the remaining nations.  Due to number of countries signed onto the treaty and the hopes for expanding to other nations in Central and South America, the term is adopted. 

o   September 12: EBS expresses their condolences to the US after the 9/11 attacks and use this opportunity to ease tensions and differences between the countries.

o   December 17: All signers of the Treaty of Vargas sign onto the Treaty of Bolivar, on the anniversary of Simon Bolivar’s death, and adopt a new name; la Federacion de Estados Bolivarianos (FEB- Federation of Bolivarian States).

·        2002:

o   January: Russian, Cuban and Iranian embassies officially open in the FEB.

o   February: The FEB military conducts its first major warfare exercise in the Caribbean and its northern shores.   It posits a US invasion of the FEB state of Panama.

o   September: FEB condemns continued US combat actions in Afghanistan one year after the global war on terror started.  The budding relationship between the US and FEB sours before it takes root. 

·        2003-08:

o   Honduran, Nicaraguan and Costa Rican governments continue to fluctuate between dictatorships by military coups due to continued unrest, poverty, and political turmoil.

o   The FEB continues to expand its influence in South America helping to establish new roads, trade agreements and the elimination of tariffs.

·        2009:

o   Honduran President Manuel Zelaya overthrown by the military.  The US is accused of worsening situation by insufficient condemnation of the coup.

o   Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica rid their dictatorships and democratically elect new governments but remain in poverty and political turmoil.

o   The FEB greatly expands its socialist policies by nationalizing oil, minerals and medicine.

·        2010:

o   Costa Rican President Oscar Arias proposes the Treaty of Sandino to Honduras and Nicaragua to establish political, and economic ties, and shared infrastructure through a mutual republic government; ideas party taken from the FEB’s successful treaties and the US Constitution.

o   April 7: Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica sign the Treaty of Sandino to establish a republic in hopes it economically and politically stabilizes all three states through shared strengths.

·        2012:

o   January 1: Established presidents on Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica step down and become governors for their states.  The newly written constitution combines the three states to make the new country la Republica de Copan (Republic of Copan). 

o   February 1: Lazaro de la Palma is elected as the new President of Copan.

o   President Barack Obama backs new Copanian government with economic incentives and guarantees of nation building efforts.  US Military advisory missions start; US Green Berets conduct the country’s first Joint Combined Exercise Training (JCET) and civil affairs operations are conducted throughout Copan.

o   FEB notices the US efforts in Copan and see it as further US imperialism in Latin America.

·        2013:

o   Copan builds stronger economic relations with the FEB and the US. 

o   Copanian GPD grows at a paltry 1.4%. 

·        2014:

o   Copan economy stagnates; corruption, oligarchic state agencies and bureaucratic red tape contribute to the lack of growth.  Crime rises as a result.

o   Growing number of Copanian citizens have begun expressing sympathy with the far-left Copanian political party el Movimiento Bolivariano (MB, Bolivarian Movement).

o   US Ambassador to the UN, Suzan Rice, protests FEB meddling in Copan’s parliamentary election before the General Assembly.

·        2015:

o   Left-wing Copanian political party MB leader, David Gonzaga, announces his party wants to amend Copanian constitution.  This radical announcement polarizes the country between the haves and have-nots.

o   El Niño weather phenomenon created drought devastates Copanian tropical and tobacco crops, which grow all year, severely damaging the Copanian economy.

o   October: Violent peasant protests erupt in Raleighs, Copan.  Over the course of weeks, the capital burns due to unheeded pleas for government assistance.

o   November 2: Protests turn deadly as police are accused of shooting unarmed protestors killing eight. 

o   Drought resistant opium crops replace unproductive food crops.  The export of illicit drugs skyrockets as Copan’s largest export.   Los Jefes rises as a leading Latin American cartel in opiates.

·        2016:

o   February: Copanian right wing presidential candidate, Enrique Hugo Vasquez, wins the election.  FEB accuse the US and the CIA of election meddling.

o   The global price of oil drops; the FEB nationalized oil industry, and social programs dependent on much of the oil revenue suffer.  The Copan economy also suffers; oil is their 3rd largest export.

o   Copan and the FEB sign the Memorandum of Cooperation between Copan’s Ministry of Trade and FEBs Directorate of Foreign Relations. This agreement guarantees border passage free of taxation, minimal hassle in customs inspections, and up to two commuters.  Smugglers have been known to exploit this agreement allowing illicit activity in both directions.

o   Large armed criminal elements and militias command large swaths of ungoverned terrain in remote southern Copan extracting money from locals and their businesses, and fomenting resistance towards the central government. 

o   June 23: Police station in southern Copan is attacked by budding insurgent forces.  It is the first of many brazen attacks. 

o   October: A video surfaces on the internet who is believed to be Colonel Ramon Verduga. He announces he is the leader of a Copanian resistance called the Revolutionary Armed Forces for Social Equality (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias para la Igualdad Social- FARIS).  

o   President of Republic of Copan, Enrique Hugo Vasquez, secretly request US support in combat missions against insurgents and criminal elements.

o   The Copanian Ministry of Defense approves combat advisory missions without the consent of the Copanian parliamentary military oversight committee.

o   In light the economic hardship, the drug trade brings much needed revenue to poor farmers trying to recover from the drought.  Los Jefes expands operations making and trafficking cocaine and marijuana. 

o   Copan is on the brink of civil war due to growing unrest and poverty.

·        2017:

o   US military forces are given latitude to work with nefarious groups, as per US President Donald Trump’s directives, in order to bring FARIS and other militias to the negotiating table and end the civil war before it starts.

o   Los Jefes starts producing synthetic opioid fentanyl which fuels the opioid crisis in the US.

o   March 24: US forces and advisors work with the 1st Battalion, 45th Light Infantry Battalion Los Gatos Negros (Black Cats) on the Copan/FEB border and establish FOB Graybeard in AO Ragnar.  Skirmishes erupt against insurgent forces near Ciudad Tabor, Carolina del Norte province.

o   March 25: This date is widely considered the official beginning of the Copanian Civil War.   FARIS forces ambush a large military convoy near Ciudad Tabor, Carolina del Norte province killing 28 Copanian soldiers leaving one survivor.  US forces drop an errant bomb on the Church of St. Michael during an airstrike.  Copanian locals claim it was deliberate.

o   March 26: Pancho Forro, Son of Miguel Forro a political party leader for the right-wing Republicanos de Copan (RC) party, was captured by a militia then later executed by FARIS after a botched attempted rescue by US/Copanian forces.

o   Spring; FARIS forces step up recruiting efforts in rural Copan amid growing US involvement.

o   September 18: US forces step up intervention and become directly involved in combat working with Copanian Commandos.  They conduct joint raids against insurgent forces.

o   September 20: FEB demands in front for the UN General Assembly it has the right to seek and enrich uranium for nuclear power.  The UN Security Council, under US pressure, condemns the FEB.

o   September 25: the US conducts its first drone strike in Copan near Phillipi, Oeste Virginas.  Conflicting reports fluctuate between ten FARIS fighters killed and eighteen civilians.

o   October 6: Three Copanian commandos killed and one US Soldier is injured in the first recorded incident of a Copanian soldier turning on US and Copanian friendly forces (green on blue and green on green).

o   October 14: Unenriched uranium 235 was recovered during a daring sting by covert Copanian commandos thereby thwarting a dirty bomb attack on Copan’s parliamentary building.

o   October 15: Second green on blue attack on US advisory forces in Valle Tygart, Oeste Virginas Province Copan resulted in three US deaths and the FARIS infiltrator who shot them.

o   December 25: Andres Riano Ravelo, son of a wealthy Copanian landowner, is taken hostage by FARIS insurgents.

·        2018:

o   January 15: Andres Riano Ravelo is killed during an attempted rescue by Copanian commandos.

o   February: FARIS reportedly developing an elite secretive unit of troops; Escuadron Rojo (Red Squadron) highly trained in assassinations and kidnappings.

o   Suspected under FARIS control, the threat of ‘blood diamonds’ returns as black market exports flow from Copan.  Revenues fund FARIS and other illicit activity.

o   February 24: US/ Copanian covert forces conduct daring rescue of American entrepreneur John Baker.  Baker was accused of being a US spy by a FARIS kangaroo court.  A man thought to be Colonel Verduga was killed during the operation turned out to be a body double.

o   February 24: US protection detail saves the life of Copanian senatorial candidate Jose Diaz during an assassination attempt at a political rally.

o   June 12: Copanian Foreign Minister Rafael Quintero and bodyguard are killed in a bomb attack in Switzerland.  FARIS claims responsibility and shows the world it has an international reach.

o   July 14: FARIS leader Colonel Ramon Verduga is captured during a local police raid.  Copanian a local judge orders that Verduga not be handed over to federal or US agents in order to face charges in the province.   US envoy scrambles to get extradition orders. 

o   July 15: Colonel Verduga escapes a Copanian jail in a daring helicopter rescue in Copan.  Federal police officer and Copanian hero, Capitan Sergio Valente is killed along with three other federal officers.

o   October 12: Copan and the FEB took part in a spy swap that goes horribly wrong near the countries' border in Blakley, Georgias province. The Copanian intelligence officer, COL Fredrico Santiago was later executed by FARIS insurgents while FEB spy MAJ Manuel Banderas was able to escape with the help of Los Jefes drug cartel members.

o   October 13: During a village raid of No Puerta Villa, Copan, US and Copanian forces are accused of summarily killing a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) NGO worker during a battlefield interrogation.  US Soldiers were later found innocent. 

o   October 14: Villagers stage a violent protest outside FOB Thrasher in Copan after the killing of the Médecins Sans Frontières doctor resulting in three unarmed villagers being shot.  US Advisor, Sergeant First Class Michael ‘Bubba’ Moore was found innocent and was said to have responded within the rules of engagement.

o   December 16: FEB parliament rubber stamps and passes a series of constitutional amendments, including one that removes presidential term limits, allowing President Estephan Torrez to remain in office indefinitely.

o   UN Human Rights Council finds, since 2015, over 100,000 people are killed or disappeared in Copan amid the country’s ongoing war against drug cartels and the incessant insurgency.

o   US sanctions the FEB for continued interference in Copan.  US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, asked before the UN General Assembly to do the same.  Only the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Poland and Lesotho join in sanctioning the FEB.

 

·        2019:

o   January: Mass exodus of foreign investors and venture capitalists out of the FEB adds to growing economic crisis.

o   FEB’s socialist economy starts to suffer causing widespread shortages in necessities for common Bolivarian citizens with riots noted in some parts of the country

o   January 29: Copanian “Operation Relampago” targets a large Los Jefes network of drug caches and safe houses which devastates both the cartel and FARIS due to their shared network of mutual support and revenue.  

o   February: FEB’s Direccion Bolivariano de Inteligencia (DBI- Bolivarian Directorate of Intelligence) paramilitary advisors are reportedly training FARIS soldiers in Copan.

o   February 16: Russian made SA7 man-pack surface to air missiles are used by FARIS with great effect shooting down a reconnaissance pilot. The US pilot, Sean Demouth, was rescued the same night.

o   February 17: The Copanian crisis escalates with the killing of US Congressman Joe Jackson (R-NC) in a terrorist attack in Blakely, Georgias Province Copan at a time when the US administration was looking for a way out of the insurgency in Copan.  US billionaire and philanthropist Dino Luga was injured during the attack. 

o   March: La Mano Roja (Red Hand) rises among the ashes of the Los Jefes Cartel.  It quickly become the most profitable cartel in Central America. 

o   March 23: The Organization Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) finds FEB military officials deeply involved in local and international corruption.

o   April 1: FBI places Colonel Ramon Verduga in the top ten most wanted offering $1.5 million for information leading to his capture.

o   April: President Trump not only reverses his decision to keep US Military advisors in Copan, he has convinced congress to vote on a war powers act to declare war on the FEB.

o   FBI-led investigation finds the FEB supported the assassination of a US Congressman Joe Jackson (R-NC) while on a VIP visit in Copan February 17 by providing the IED expertise and material.

o   US military is authorized by congress to conduct combat operations against the FEB in light of the current destabilization and blatant support for the insurgent forces in Copan.

o   The FEB is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism by US Congress and has until May 1, 2019 to meet the demands of the US. 

o   Emboldened by the US demands and war footing, la Nueva Madrugada (New Dawn), a FEB resistance group, forms amid the turmoil in the FEB and attack military and police checkpoints.

o   May 1: Not responding to US threat and deadline, the air campaign “Operation Hammerhead” starts over FEB attacking critical military infrastructure.

o   May 3: The ground assault of northern FEB near Picher, Oklahomas province, Operation Pathfinder, begins.  The US only commits small number of elite forces as US Mlitary is already stretched thin across the globe; Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Copan, and many parts of the Middle East and Africa.  The US Joint Chiefs of Staff demand that the US maintains conventional forces ready for a potential peer-to-peer conflict.  As a result, US forces take many casualties during the invasion.

o   May : Sergeant First Class (SFC) Michael “Bubba” Moore is reportedly shot and captured when he becomes separated from friendly forces during a bold attack on a FEB military installation in Picher, Oklahomas province. 

o   August 1; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), denounces the US invasion of the FEB  before the UN General Assembly for causing heavy damage to the Tikal II archaeological site.