Cerveran People's Directorate
Directorio Popular Cerverano
Motto: El Amor a la Patria Nos Inspira
(Agranian: "The Love of the Homeland Inspires Us")
Anthem: La Bayamesa
Agranan: "The Song of Bayamo"
|Ethnic groups||Agranians, Jungastians Theykans, Macaré, others|
|Demonym||Cerveran, Cerverano/a, Cerverão|
|Government||single party Directivist state|
• Viceroyalty of Cervera Established
|17 June 1818|
• People's Directorate Established
|27 March 1931|
• 2023 (est.) census
• Per capita
|Currency||Cerveran Peso (CVP)|
Cervera, formally the Cerveran People's Directorate, is a sovereign state located on the continent of Avalonia and sharing land borders with Zahava to the south and Albaterra to the south and west, as well as a significant maritime border on the Ingonian Sea with Theyka.
Situated at a cultural crossroads astride the Iapetus Ocean and Ingonian Sea, Cervera was settled in prehistory by indigenous peoples derived from the Theykan ethnic group as well as a diverse group of cultures descended from the south-central Avalonian indigenous populations of SiWallqanqa and Albaterra. First contact with the Artemian World occurred in the late 16th and early 17th century, after which the region came under the dominion of Agrana y Griegro before gaining independence in 1818. Following a series of unstable republics and a brief monarchy, Directivists under the leadership of Raul Garcia seized power in 1931 and transformed the country into an authoritarian single-party state based on their ideals. Present-day Cervera is considered a developing economy and, though unaligned with any major regional blocs, is increasingly active in world and economic affairs in the 21st century.
Present-day Cervera was first settled by indigenous groups approximately 3,000 years ago, though the routes of settlement and ultimate ethnogenesis of these peoples remain uncertain. The most commonly accepted theories are of northward migration from present-day SiWallqanqa or a southerly migration from an urheimat in north-central Avalonia near present-day Tilenno. The fertile lowland basin of the Macaré River provided ample ground for the growth of sophisticated agrarian societies by 1000 BCE, of which the eponymous Macaré were the largest and longest lasting, from approximately 400 AD to first contact with Artemian civilization in the 17th century. Other prominent peoples included the nomadic Denih'tso and Kayenta cultures of the northwest and present-day [[Albaterra]; the Waranga-nui of Theykan extraction; and the Wintu and Wintari peoples of the southern highland rainforests.
Agranian and Jungastian trade vessels made periodic visits to the Avalonian coast including present-day Cervera from around 1600, with Agrana y Griegro establishing the colony of Trinidad in 1597 and Jungastia following suit with Satao in 1612. In 1629, Agranian conquistador in Jungastian service Juan Miguel de Cerva landed a party at present-day Puerto Fortuna and engaged in conquest of the Macaré, which was complete by 1633; the new colony, claimed for Jungastia, was named Cervera in his honor. The conquest, however, was not without controversy; while de Cerva was under Jungastian service at the time, Agrana y Griegro refused to recognize Jungastian sovereignty on the grounds that de Cerva was an Agranian subject. This uncertain state of affairs would prevail until 1651, during which time the colony became effectively terra nullius and a haven for pirates, smugglers and those seeking new lives in the Avalonian World. The marriage of Jungastian Crown Prince Felix to Maria III of Agrana y Griegro, and expected personal union of their crowns upon their respective accessions, saw sovereignty over the colony transferred to Agrana y Griegro, a transaction sometimes classified as a dowry payment.
Agranian colonial administration was swift, effective and not without brutality. Chief among the administration's priorities was the eradication of piracy and enculturation of the Macaré and other indigenous peoples into the Marian faith. A system of latifundia was established in the interior regions, with missions and private plantations cultivating the land and assuming responsibility for the "civilizing" of its indigenous inhabitants, who were indentured to work the estates in exchange for housing and education. Immigration from Agrana y Griegro and elsewhere was encouraged by cheap, readily-available plots of agricultural land in the interior and perceived greater social and economic mobility available in the new colony.
Independence and First Republic
By the 18th century Cervera had become a thriving colony with a strong agricultural backbone and burgeoning economic hubs in the coastal cities of Matanzas, Puerto Fortuna and Bayamo. As one of Agrana y Griegro's most far-flung colonial holdings, Cervera benefitted from a relatively lax colonial regime and was seen as an attractive and permissive outlet for intellectuals, religious nonconformists and others who chafed under conditions in the mother country. This state of affairs changed following a bloody and ultimately unsuccessful rebellion on Trinidad which lasted from 1804 to 1808; the fallout of this conflict frightened administrators in Agrana y Griegro who in turn adopted a firmer policy toward their colonial holdings, dismissing colonial governors seen as overly permissive or sympathetic to their subjects.
In 1809, retired naval administrator and member of parliament Guillermo de La Rocha was appointed colonial governor of Cervera. De La Rocha, who had never visited Cervera, arrived in Matanzas in February 1810 and was received respectfully, if coolly, by the city's notables. The appointment, however, would have no honeymoon period; at a banquet thrown in his honor, De La Rocha gave a speech in which he asserted the paternalistic nature of the colonial relationship, likening it to that of a mother and child and concluding "the relationship thus described is not and cannot be one of equals, but rather one in which the mother assumes responsibility for the training up of her progeny in the hope that they will one day make mature and honorable members of our great community of nations, retaining always the affection for and loyalty toward that which gave them birth." The tone of this speech alienated the colonial elites, who had hitherto been accustomed to a degree of self-rule; further actions by the new regime to enforce censorship and church attendance laws of the mainland only served to further inflame tensions.
The final incident leading up to the war of independence occurred in April 1816 in Bayamo as the governor was en route, with entourage, to inspect a regiment of troops there. Already deeply unpopular, his journey through the streets of the city to the parade ground was lined by jeering citizens who accosted the caravan with rotten fruit, rocks and chamber pots. Incensed, De La Rocha ordered his bodyguard to arrest those responsible; the ensuing scuffle left 5 civilians dead and escalated into a riot, known retroactively as the Battle of Bayamo, which saw members of the town militia clash with the Bayamo Regiment and De La Rocha's retinue, the latter being forced to return to Matanzas. The Bayamesa, written by an anonymous author the following day, was circulated in pamphlets throughout the city and quickly attained national prominence as a call for the overthrow of colonial rule.
The subsequent war, waged from 1816 to 1818, saw heavy reinforcements of troops under the command of general Rodolfo Aguilar sent to garrison the cities and tamp down the rebellion; unaccustomed to the harsh tropical environment, these troops suffered heavy attrition to disease and exhaustion as well as withering rebel assaults. Fighting was fiercest in the interior, where local militias were unified into the Army of the Cerveran Republic under the command of former colonial officer Emiliano Cardenas, who excelled in unconventional warfare and leveraged his troops' knowledge of the land and local conditions to make up for their numerical disadvantage. By 1818, with most of the country under rebel control and the cities increasingly cut off, the Agranan forces abandoned their former colony, though refusing to sign any treaty or instrument which acknowledged either a cessation of hostilities or the independence of Cervera.
On 17 June the Cerveran Republic was declared with Cardenas as its first President; a legislative body was then convened to formulate the newly independent nation's constitution. This process proved fraught with conflict between the urban mercantile and rural landowning elites as well as agitation for land reform and the universal male suffrage by the rural poor who had made up the bulk of the Cerveran revolutionary forces. Cardenas' administration vacillated between appeasement of all factions and heavy-handed measures against radical elements of the underclasses, in consequence of which his support in government rapidly evaporated. By 1820, his administration had grown increasingly authoritarian with a constitution still not agreed upon and foreign debts mounting in consequence of government inaction. Recognizing the untenability of his position, Cardenas resigned the Presidency in January 1821 and was replaced by the deeply conservative plantation owner Guillermo Macias. Macias was able to force through a constitution late that year which empowered the urban and rural elite alike by means of an income-tested franchise system, but angered the underclasses in so doing. Macias was able to complete a five-year term and win election to a second, which would prove to be the high water mark of stability in the First Republic. Faced with mounting external debts and growing dissatisfaction among the peasantry, Macias promulgated a program of land reform coupled with increased taxation on large plantation holdings intending to entice his fellow landowners to acquiesce to the reforms; this plan backfired and a group of hardline rural conservatives deposed him in 1828.
From as early as 1825, conservative elements of the Cerveran landholding elite had been in covert contact with Agrana y Griegro concerning the possibility of a restoration of colonial rule, or, failing that, a monarchy of the House of Luna or a cadet branch. Queen Maria's third son Jaime, himself low in the line of succession of the Agranian monarchy owing to its matrilineal primogeniture, was identified as an acceptable candidate and covertly traveled to Cervera in late 1827. Following the fall of Macias, interim President Fausto Carmona along with his rural base of support promoted the election of Jaime to the Presidency in contingent elections, followed by Jaime's dissolution of the National Assembly and proclamation of the Kingdom of Cervera with himself as Jaime I. Jaime was able to secure the cancellation of foreign debt as well as the recognition of major Artemian powers for Cerveran sovereignty, crucially Agrana y Griegro who had been a major trade partner of the Cerveran colony pre-independence. While his aristocratic absolutism favored the rural landholding elite, his reign was resented by the urban elite and rural poor alike as "re-colonization" and the importation of Agranians to staff the apparatus of state especially despised. Expressions of discontent gave way to armed resistance in the countryside, which soon spread to the major cities and saw Jaime's support collapse by August 1832. Proclaiming the Cerveran people "ungovernable," he renounced his throne and fled back to Agrana y Griegro as a new republic was declared.
The establishment of the Second Cerveran Republic in 1832 marked the beginning of a period which would come to be known as "the century of peace" (Agranian el siglo de la paz) owing to the marked increase in stability of government and class relations. A bicameral legislature comprising the landowning House of Delegates and working class House of the People underpinned the new federal system of checks and balances. For the first time, universal male suffrage was granted to all persons over 21, and control over the state budget was vested in the People. The office of President was indirectly elected, with both houses of the National Assembly voting on his election; the House of the People, being larger, thus largely controlled the election of the head of state, while the First Minister as head of government was chosen from among the majority party of the House of Delegates. This period saw the Cerveran government establish itself as a firmly republican and sovereign state, with recognition coming from major Artemian powers as well as the neighboring nations of Kaya, Zahava and SiWallqanqa.
While initially promising, the liberal constitution did not fully alleviate the ongoing struggles between rural and urban interests, nor those between the peasantry and wealthy. Successive efforts at land and tax reform were undertaken throughout the 1840s and 1850s with the simultaneous goals of empowering smallholding farmers in the interior and lessening their tax burden, at the expense of the mercantile classes in the major cities. This policy created a shortfall in tax income which resulted in the government taking on increasing levels of debt to finance its operations, primarily from SiWallqanqa and Kaya, before gradually reversing course on taxation from the 1860s onward.
Snap elections in 1873 brought the Liberal Party of Cervera to majority in the House of The People, carried by a broad platform of social reform including universal suffrage, free education and tariffs on manufactured goods imports, intended to encourage the development of industrialization domestically. These programs were opposed by the Conservative Party of Cervera which still held majority in the House of Delegates and favored free-trade oriented economic policies, limited suffrage and agrarian interests. With the People unable to force election of their preferred Presidential candidate, a compromise candidate in the form of moderate Conservative Juan Miguel Rojas was identified and narrowly elected, while Conservative First Minister Felipe Calderon retained his position. Rojas, while politically inexperienced, proved an effective administrator and supported the more moderate of the Liberal Party's demands, particularly with regard to education and child labor. Rojas' administration, however, was dominated by the arch-conservative Calderon and his political allies, many of whom were appointed to key government posts over Rojas' objections. Thus outmaneuvered, Rojas stood down from the Presidency at the expiry of his term in 1878, being succeeded by Calderon ally Norberto Gonzalez as Conservative patronage and caudillismo became more entrenched in Cerveran politics. Conservative governance would run continuously from 1878-1903, with the apparatus of state becoming increasingly ossified, indebted and plutocratic, before snap elections in 1903 returned Liberal majorities in the Delegates and People on a platform of reform, industrialization and debt consolidation.
Taking office in 1903, Liberal President Rogelio Batista vowed to repay Cervera's sovereign debts in full by 1920, promote balanced budgets and make the government fiscally solvent; in order to do so, vast quantities of agricultural production were exported at-cost with export tariffs enacted in the prior decades repealed. As Cervera was largely an agrarian society, this scheme proved highly susceptible to poor harvests and weather events. Land reforms undertaken to increase agricultural productivity were of limited impact, and tax revenues suffered as a result. In 1916, a major crop failure prompted Batista to declare an indefinite moratorium on debt repayments, citing a need to balance the budget and a reluctance to "feed foreign bankers while Cerverans starve." This measure caused a severe shock to Cervera's global credit, leading to cascading bank runs and riots in Matanzas, during which two SiWallqanqa nationals were killed. The resultant diplomatic incident, coupled with conservative movements against the Batista government fueled by resentment of land democratization, led to a coup in August of that year in which a junta under Colonel Xavier Rios was installed with SiWallqanqa backing.
The Rios government organized itself as the Junta de Reorganización Nacional (National Reorganization Junta), presenting itself as a necessary imposition to reestablish food and financial security and defend national independence. In practice, it became little more than a front for SiWallqanqa occupation, as SiWi troops were "invited" into the country en masse ostensibly to assist in restoring order. Political dissent was stifled by means of violent intimidation, forced disappearance and extrajudicial killing while the treasury was compelled to pay exorbitant sums to SiWallqanqa both for its original debts as well as maintenance costs of the occupying military forces. This situation would endure until 1925, when rising republican unrest in Cervera coupled with growing rifts between the Junta and SiWi authorities and SiWi preoccupations in the South Avalonian War combined to result in a withdrawal of SiWi troops on February 28th of that year. Rios was deposed and executed for treason shortly thereafter.
Third Republic and Directivist Revolution
In March 1925, with Rios deposed and executed, an interim government under the provisions of the 1869 Constitution was declared with jurist Federico Bustamante Chavez as interim President. Bustamante, though politically conservative, was viewed as primarily loyal to the constitution and thus acceptable to the major political classes as a placeholder for planned elections the following year. Economic instability and political violence caused several delays to this timeline, weakening Bustamante's already tenuous position. By 1927, the National Directivist Party had emerged as the clear front-runner of the populist movements and was considered likely to win a plurality of seats in the National Assembly and perhaps even the Presidency if permitted to run. Alarmed at this possibility, leadership of the historically dominant Traditionalist and Liberal parties pressured Bustamante to take action against the Directivists; instead, he chose to meet with Directivist leader Raul Garcia and negotiate a series of promises from the Directivists, namely that they would respect the results of the election and, if in the majority, would uphold the liberal democratic nature of the government. Garcia acceded to these conditions but set forth his own condition, that peace on the part of the Directivists would be contingent upon free access to the ballot. Privately, Bustamante hoped that by bringing Garcia into the democratic fold, he would be sufficiently discredited among his followers to reduce his party's returns at the polls. His backers, however, did not share this optimism, and pressured Bustamante into outlawing the National Directivist Party, which he did in October 1927 with less than a year until the scheduled elections, and moved to have Garcia and other top Directivists arrested.
Tipped off in advance of the raids by an informant within the ranks, Garcia and his top deputies were able to avoid capture as his Army of the People's Directive clashed with government forces in Matanzas, Puerto Fortuna and Bayamo with heavy casualties. Garcia, his brothers Edwin and Lazaro and approximately a thousand Directivist fighters subsequently fled the coast and dispersed in what historians have described as "something between an orderly retreat and an all-out rout." The bulk of these forces under Raul and Lazaro landed in San Juan Batista at the foot of the Sierra Gordo mountains in the far south of the country, where they were able to retreat into the mountainous jungle and reorganize. Edwin, meanwhile, had retreated with his cadre northwest toward the Albaterra border, eventually making headquarters in the border town of Colonia Nueva Paraiso. Though cut off from direct contact with one another, the Northern and Southern Cadres as they came to be known forged alliances with various groups of antigovernment militants including anarchists, libertarian socialists and nationalists; on 1 January 1928, in imitation of the traditional New Years address given by the Cerveran head of state, Raul Garcia issued a radio declaration announcing the formation of the Popular Liberation Front of Cervera, a coalition of Directivists and allied groups.
From mid-1928, PLFC forces scattered throughout the country mounted a succession of harrying attacks on military positions, banks and government buildings in addition to targeted assassinations of government officials and military officers. This guerrilla warfare served as much to acquire vital supplies and funds for the revolution as to demoralize government forces and act as propaganda of the deed. This lattermost objective bore fruit in dramatic fashion on 17 August 1929 when sailors aboard the cruiser San Clemente, moored at harbor in Puerto Fortuna, mutinied and fired the vessel's main battery upon City Hall, the Municipal Court and other government buildings. While high-ranking government officials escaped injury, the incident was widely covered by international media and brought further embarrassment to the government and further domestic support for the PLFC. With the military's discipline increasingly wavering, Garcia's allies increasingly began to press for large-scale offensive action, and in the fall of 1929 Raul, Lazaro, Edwin and allied forces of the Cerveran Black Army and Free Cerveran Armed Forces began planning for the next phase of the war, aimed at taking Matanzas and driving government forces into the sea.
Planning for the offensive was hampered by poor lines of communication, disagreements on strategy and military objectives, and an element of mutual distrust amongst the various factions. This latter factor was most pronounced between the anarchist Black Army led by Borgosesian expat Rochelle Polani and the Free Cerveran Armed Forces, comprised of defectors from government ranks. The plan, as finalized in early 1930, called for the offensive to commence in Spring, with a final date of 15 April agreed upon as D-Day. Initial thrusts were bogged down by summer rains and stiff government resistance in the northwestern approach, with both Polani and Raul's brother Edwin killed in this early fighting. Reinforcements in the Northern Contingent throughout the rainy season raised its effective strength to 35,000 and included tanks and aircraft defected or liberated from government bases; it was now approximately equal in size to the Southern Contingent commanded by Raul himself, but still dwarfed by the Cerveran III and IV Corps at a paper strength of 100,000 total. Despite the long odds, Raul authorized a pincer attack to commence in fall, gambling that the actual strength of the enemy was much less than intelligence reports indicated. In the end, this analysis would prove correct, as government forces were severely understrength due to materiel shortages and desertions. Thus encircled, the combined government formation offered only limited resistance before surrendering in the field on 28 October; Matanzas would provide much stiffer resistance as loyalist forces from the coastal regions and other theatres were deployed en-masse to defend the capital. Finally, on 6 January 1931, the capital would fall to the PLFC, with Garcia himself entering the city on 15 January and declaring victory and the establishment of the Cerveran People's Directorate.
With Matanzas in hand, Garcia and the Directivists moved to consolidate power and eliminate dissident forces from among their former allies, with fighting continuing on a lower scale until 1934 in what came to be known as the "Special Period" during which an estimated 50,000 capitalists, intellectuals, anarchists, landlords and other "socially negative elements" were killed and thousands more fled to Theyka, Albaterra and Zahava. By mid-1934, the final pockets of resistance had been defeated or driven underground, and Garcia moved to legitimize Directivist rule with a referendum on the Directivist constitution which officially returned an approval of 93%. Simultaneously, the First Presidium of the National Directive appointed Garcia as Director-General.
The Garcia era was characterized by broad strokes of political, economic and social programming as the Directivists moved to re-organize society along socialist lines; these measures led to the rapid industrialization of Cervera, as well as drastic increases in literacy, life expectancy and reductions in infant mortality. In 1936, Garcia declared a "Popular Struggle Against Malaria" with heavy use of pesticides including DDT to eradicate the disease carrying mosquitos; while this was largely successful in reducing the instances of malaria in susceptible areas, the unrealized environmental damage was great. By 1945, Garcia had largely retired from daily running of the country, preferring to devote his energies toward the continued development of Directivist theory; despite this, he continued to hold office as Director-General until his death from complications of lung cancer on April 3rd, 1962.
Garcia's death left a power vacuum as he had steadfastly refused to name a successor whilst alive, considering the practice "dynastic" and un-socialist. Out of the internal power brokering, two candidates emerged as likely successors for Director-General: long-time confidant, personal secretary and Supreme Popular Council member Jairo Santos, and President of the Supreme Council of State Domingo Padron. Padron's efforts to succeed Garcia were initially rebuffed over fears of power consolidation by the Special Presidium of the National Directive, many of whom privately opined that Santos, who largely lacked a power base of his own, would be more malleable as Director-General. Santos, however, defied these expectations and began to move in broad strokes to implement the Technological Path to Socialism promulgated by his predecessor and mentor. Separately, Santos moved to open Cervera to the non-Communist world for trade and diplomatic relations; these two measures caused resentment among the hardliners of the old guard, who favored separate development of socialist countries, and the trades' unions, who were deeply skeptical of the Technological Path doctrine and viewed Santos' promotion of light consumer industry as meddling in their affairs. Having overestimated the depth of his support, Santos was outmaneuvered politically and ultimately forced to resign in 1964.
Padron, who by now had garnered support of the military and intelligence establishments and possibly orchestrated Santos' ouster, now assumed control of the Party and country as Director-General, though without the confirmation of a Special Presidium. Padron's hardline politics and technocratic economic focus drove a wedge between the union-backed and technocratic factions of the Supreme Popular Council, the latter of which favor him. The Congress of Trades Unions, led by Matias Perez, responded by demanding a Presidium be called to follow proper procedure for electing a Director-General, and denounced Padron's seizure of power as illegal. Following forceful clashes and mutual denunciations in the Supreme Popular Council, Perez called for a general strike on August 27th 1965. Padron reacted swiftly, denouncing Perez in state media as "a wrecker, capitalist agitator and hoodlum" and declaring a state of emergency with the military sent to suppress the strike. Violent clashes between strikers, organized in the Ejercito de las Clases Trabajadores (Army of the Working Classes), and the government sent shockwaves throughout Cervera and the broader socialist world, with the "Cervera Issue" threatening a split in socialist unity in Artemia as Goetia denounced the trade-unionists as petit-bourgeois agitators and the Artemian Union denounced Padron's use of state violence on the working class. A Special Presidium convened in November 1965 belatedly confirmed Padron as Director-General but was rejected as illegitimate by the CTU as well as a sizable minority of delegates and Supreme Popular Council members who opposed the hardline, autocratic stances of Padron.
The CTU rebellion would reach its height in February 1966, when the port of Bayamo was besieged and captured by CTU/ECT forces. The capture of the city, which had a long history as a base of revolutionary activity dating to the colonial era, was a massive propaganda victory for the CTU/ECT as well as an important line of supply for its ongoing rebellion. Fierce fighting occurred in the area throughout the remainder of the year as government forces attempted to wrest control of the city back from the rebels, who were able to receive large shipments of smuggled weaponry and cash through its port facilities. Bayamo was eventually recaptured in June of that year, bringing to a halt the worst of the fighting to that point. On September 8th, Perez disappeared en route to a rally of CTU/ECT members in Santa Catalina and was declared presumptively dead. Padron took swift advantage of this power vacuum by holding discussions with new CTU leader Emiliano Valdez over an end to hostilities, including the augmentation of ECT militants into the People's Militia for National Defense and a seat on the Supreme Council of State for the President of the CTU. By a slim and likely rigged majority, these measures were approved by the CTU and an amnesty extended to its former rebels who agreed to reaffirm loyalty to the Party. This settlement was viewed by a large portion of the CTU/ECT as a sellout, and dissident members split from the CTU in early 1967 to form the People's Army of National Liberation (APLN) vowing to continue the armed struggle for the "reinstatement of true Directivist principles in government."
APLN forces continued to wage a campaign of terror, bombings and kidnappings throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, culminating in the assassination by car bombing of Padron on October 19th 1973. His successor, former Director of National Intelligence and State Security Julio Varela launched a wide campaign of counterterrorist raids in January 1974, codenamed Operation Checkmate, with the goal of breaking the APLN leadership. This operation succeeded in the capture of several key APLN leaders including its Director-General Julio Marquez-Dominguez, who was hanged on March 12th of that year, a date broadly considered to mark the end of active hostilities. While the APLN and associated splinter groups remain active to present day, their activities since have been largely confined to drug manufacture and smuggling in the mountainous southern regions of the country.
Varela held the position of Director-General until the conclusion of his term in 1983, during which time ties with the socialist government of Veikaia were established and measures taken to encourage a gradual opening of the country to foreign tourism and trade from the capitalist world. Succeeding Varela was the moderate reformer Jose Romero, whose administration oversaw a campaign of economic restructuring intended to de-centralize planning and encourage independent decision making at the lowest levels of production. This transition, coupled with increasing focus on the emergent service and tourism sector, drove economic growth but led to concerns of income inequality and the growth of state capitalism. The collapse of the Osorran People's State in 1989 sent shockwaves through the Avalonian socialist world and led to a brief depression in the Cerveran economy as trade ties between the formerly-close nations evaporated. The emergence of an oligarchic society in Osorra stoked fears of similar in Cervera and led to a backlash of reaction which saw hardliner Pedro Villar succeed Romero in 1993. Villar sought to roll back the private enterprise reforms of his predecessor, instituting revenue and salary caps on private business and directing the Directorate for Economic Development to audit private enterprises for compliance with orthodox Directivist principles, with penalties for malfeasance ranging from fines to expropriation. These measures resulted in the reduction of foreign investment from outside the socialist sphere and a gradual stagnation of the economy into the new millennium, despite the promulgation of the "Millennium Directive" charging the Directorate to become "the premier economic power of Avalonia" by 2100. Villar was in turn succeeded in 2003 by fellow orthodox Directivist Manuel Carrillo, whose New Technological Path campaign sought to stimulate the economy through development of e-commerce and under whom Cervera was first connected to the global Internet. The opening of the internet led to an increase in exposure to the capitalist world and ideas previously inaccessible and sparking a wave of reformist demands from among the youth and university students. The resurgent reformist faction was able to assume power through the appointment of Roberto Martinez in 2013. Martinez, who had studied in Veikaia while in university, was at 38 years old the youngest Director-General since Garcia and was elected to a second term in 2023, the first Director-General since Garcia to be so elected.
Geography and Climate
An equatorial nation, Cervera's climate is tropical in nature with heavy influence from warm water currents in the Iapetus and Ingonian, with consistent rains year-round and little seasonal variation in temperatures, which average 28-30 Celsius for highs and 20-22 Celsius for lows. Rainfall is consistent throughout the year, ranging from a low monthly average of 278mm in October to a high average of 403mm in July. Geographically, Cervera is situated in a large basin which comprises the Macaré River and its watershed, bounded by plateau regions on its north coast and mountainous areas in the southeast and roughly straddling the southern border. These areas tend to be somewhat wetter and more humid than the interior, though the overall difference throughout the year is negligible.
Cervera is a single-party state governed by the National Directivist Party, which functions as a vanguard party and mass organization having total control of all political and civic life in the nation. Legislative power is vested in the Supreme Popular Council, a 390 member body which meets to consider bills and measures to become law. While the Party holds the majority of seats (350), smaller allocations are given to trades' unions, youth movements and the military; in practice, as the party adheres to the concept of democratic centralism, the legislature acts as little more than a rubber-stamp. Additionally to the legislative body, the Presidium of the National Directive, composed of Supreme Popular Council Members, former Directors-General, and other leading party figures, meets every ten years to consider changes to party policy as well as appoint the next Director-General; special sessions of the Presidium may also be called in the event of national emergency or the death in office of the Director-General.
Executive authority is formally vested in the Supreme Council of State, comprised of the Director-General and Directors of the various government Directorates, equivalent to cabinet-level offices in other countries; the Director-General is also, ex officio, the head of the National Directivist Party. From 1952 to 1991, an office of President of the Supreme Council of State existed independently of the Director-General's office; the two were formally merged in the Sixth Presidium of the National Directive and the office is now considered to be de facto abolished, with the Director-General assuming the position of head of party as well as head of state.
Cerveran law is outlined in the 1934 Constitution, which establishes Directivism as "the sole legitimate political expression and guiding force of the people" and serves as the supreme law of the land. The constitution theoretically guarantees rights to public assembly, religious expression, speech and the independent press, as well as civil rights regarding freedom from self-incrimination and the right to legal assistance. However, these rights are explicitly curtailed by the provision that their assertion may not run contrary to the maintenance of the Directivist system, leading foreign analysts to describe them as essentially moot.
Cerveran judiciary is divided into Civil and Criminal branches, the former being conducted in tribunal format with judges as finders of fact and presidings overseen by a single judge or magistrate. Criminal law, by contrast, operates on the Directivist principle of "Scientific Justice", wherein each separate facet of the case (e.g. evidence of plaintiff and defendant, witness statements, police reports) is reviewed by a panel of jurists in closed session acting as finders of fact. Summations are then presented en banc to a final panel of jurists to render a verdict, followed by yet another judicial panel to issue sentence, taking into consideration all foregoing information in terms of mitigation and aggravation. While Directivists charge that this system is designed and intended to eliminate bias in criminal proceedings, critics of the regime have argued that it has the effect of denying the accused proper representation in court and the ability to properly defend oneself; critics also allege that the byzantine nature of the judicial process leads to indefinite and arbitrary detention of accused persons without due process.
Cerveran law enforcement is organized in the Policia Nacional, which serves as the primary law enforcement body in the Directorate. While a unitary force under the guidance of the Directorate of Justice, it is administratively organized into provincial and city jurisdictions. While not a military branch in and of itself, it acts as a gendarmerie and can be mobilized to assist the military in times of crisis or for disaster relief. Additionally, the Directorate of Justice employs a secret police, the Internal Police for the Defense of the Revolution, which is charged with investigating and disrupting crime of a political or dissident nature.
Following the Directivist Revolution, the Cerveran government initially pursued a policy of limited participation in world affairs. The gradual opening of the country to foreign trade in the 1950s coincided with a more active role in world affairs, supporting anti-imperialist and revolutionary movements throughout Kesh and Avalonia including the Mirhanis, Madaristan People's Army and Kodeshia in the Great Kesh War. While these alliances failed in their primary goal of spreading Directivist ideology abroad, they would lay the groundwork for foreign relations with the socialist governments such of Goetia, Veikaia and the Artemian Union.
At present, Cervera is not party to any multinational alliance, having previously been an observer of ECOSEAS from 1978-1995, when it withdrew citing "continued SiWallqanqa imperialism dressed up as mutual cooperation." Notwithstanding this, the Directorate maintains active economic relations with its Avalonian neighbors and others, albeit on an individual basis. The Directorate has no formal relations with Agrana y Griego, which does not recognize it as a legitimate government.
The military forces of Cervera are organized in the Army of the People's Directorate (Armada del Directorio Popular; ADP), which in turn is comprised of the Army, Navy and Air Force, totalling approximately 150,000 active duty personnel overall, with an additional 100,000 inactive reserves that can be mobilized in time of crisis or national emergency. Military forces report to the Central Military Directorate, and are considered an organ of the party rather than the state itself. Cerveran military tactics are primarily defensive in nature following the doctrine of Total People's Defense adopted from Veikaia, with the long-running guerrilla campaign of the dissident People's Army of National Liberation resulting in a military force well-versed in COIN, unconventional warfare and counterterrorist operations.
Additionally to military forces, the party itself maintains the paramilitary People's Militia for National Defense (Milicia Popular de la Defensa Nacional; MPDN), comprised of battalions organized at a party cell level. These forces, numbering approximately 350,000, receive periodic training in light weaponry and are primarily mobilized for disaster relief operations and as auxiliaries to the police in time of emergency.
Cerveran arms have historically been supplied by Goetia and the Artemian Union, though from the 1980s onward domestic production via reverse engineering and technology transfer have been increasingly pursued as part of a doctrine of independence in defense matters.
Cervera operates a syndicalist economy in a hybrid system, the total output of which is worth approximately $706.6 billion. Directivist economic principles view the trade union, composed of and operated collectively by workers in a specific trade or set of trades, as the proper vehicle in which to place the means of production. Unions accordingly operate and manage large sectors of the economy through subsidiary corporations which handle specific aspects of production; for example, a cattle farm may operate under the aegis of the People's Union of Farmworkers, but acts as an independent entity in its daily economic activity. Economic sectors considered vital to the national interest, such as healthcare, defense, electricity, utilities and public transportation are wholly state owned. Notwithstanding this, limited private enterprise does exist in Cervera, typically in small businesses such as grocers, florists and specialty shops. Among the chief objectives of Directivist economic policy is the pursuit of full employment, in consequence of which unemployment is very low, with a reported figure of 2.3% for the 2020 fiscal year.
Historically an agrarian society, industrialization began in the early 20th century and was accelerated in the decades following the Directivist Revolution, with an initial focus on heavy industry and infrastructure. Agriculture today makes up 28% of the Cerveran GDP, with major agricultural exports including timber, sugarcane, tobacco, maize, fish and cattle. From the 1960s onward, industrial focus began to shift from heavy industry to consumer goods for export, a sector which now makes up a plurality (41%) of GDP. The largest industrial exports by GDP impact are semiconductors, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications equipment, uranium and coal. In recent decades the service sector of the economy has also emerged as an economic driver in its own right, primarily geared around tourism.
Cervera's currency is the Cerveran Peso, divided into 100 centavos; the peso is a fiat currency with exchange rates fixed by the Directorate of Treasury, and foreign exchange is generally unavailable outside the country itself. Inflation is officially estimated at 7.5% per annum, with unofficial black market figures reflecting an annual inflation ranging from 11-15%.
In line with Directivist social policy and the goal of full employment, Cervera has a robust government-subsidized and state-owned public works network with government spending approaching 70% of GDP. Emergency and routine medical services are free to all citizens at point of use, and gas and water services heavily subsidized on a sliding scale according to household income. Infrastructure development and maintenance has historically been a priority of economic planning, with public works such as bridges, dams and other structures developed for public need, jobs programming and as internal and external propaganda efforts.
Public transportation is ubiquitous throughout the Directorate, with the FerroCervera rail network providing short, medium and long haul train service between cities and most cities possessing a metro rail or subway. These tend to be inexpensive to the consumer at point of use, subsidized by government investment. City and long-haul bus services, both state owned and private, are also available as are taxis in the major cities. Cervera's flag carrier CervAero operates out of Matanzas Raul Garcia Alvarez International Airport (ICAO: MTZ) with numerous destinations throughout Avalonia, Kesh and Artemia.
Personal vehicle ownership in Cervera is among the lowest in the world, with 34% of adult households owning a personal vehicle; this is due in equal part to the government's emphasis on public transport as well as financial and governmental barriers to vehicle ownership historically. In recent decades, efforts to encourage personal vehicle ownership have become commonplace as manufacturing switches to an increasingly light consumer goods focus.
Electricity in Cervera is provided by the state-owned National Electric Co-operative, and available on a quota-based sliding-scale system based on household income and projected monthly need, with overage charges applied to households that exceed their quota. The majority of the country's electrical need has historically been provided by coal and wood-burning plants, though efforts since the 1970s to diversify and modernize the grid have led to significant developments in hydroelectric, solar and nuclear power. The latter of these culminated in the 1989 opening of the 17 de Junio Nuclear Power Plant in Providencia. The plant, built with Borgosesian technical assistance, currently provides about one third of national power needs and is credited with greatly reducing the incidence of rolling blackouts in major cities.
Cerveran culture is diverse and vibrant, drawing influences from Agranian colonization as well as Theykan and indigenous populations, and characterized by the centuries of change and upheaval which have defined the country.
Baseball and association football are the two most popular sports in Cervera, with the Liga Profesional de Béisbol and Primera Liga de Futbol Cerverano representing the top professional tiers of each sport respectively. International participation in sporting competition has been historically infrequent, though the country has participated in the AIFA Anterran Cup of association football since 1948, achieving a third place finish in 1950 and a second place finish in 1968 as well as hosting the competition in 2019. Aside from this, Cervera has regularly sent a delegation to compete in the Kharmideian Games and Cerveran constructors and drivers have competed in the People's Formula motorsport series.
In recent years, the sport of gridiron football has become increasingly popular among youth, with Cervera joining the Avalonian Gridiron Union in 2009 and sending its first team the following year. While no professional league currently exists for the sport, it has become a popular intramural offering at universities and youth sports clubs.
Cerveran cuisine is widely varied and draws upon the culinary traditions of Agrana y Griegro and Zahava as well as indigenous ingredients and culinary traditions. Pork and beef are the two most widely consumed meats, with rice and maize the most common cereal grains. Bell peppers, poblanos, onions, avocados, yucca and tomatoes are among the most widely consumed vegetables with a diversity of fruit including coconut, banana, mango, tamarind, plantain, and pineapple being common throughout Cerveran cuisine. Breakfast is usually small and sweet rather than savory, with churros or other pastries consumed with strong dark coffee. A medium sized lunch of rice or tortilla and vegetables, and large dinner with a main meat and rice, beans and tostones or plantains, is historically common though gastronomical habits have changed slightly in recent decades as offerings become more cosmopolitan. Desserts are usually based around milk and sugar with tres leches cake and flan being the most widely known.
Contemporary Cerveran media is state-owned and subject to censorship to ensure compliance with Directivist ideals. The state media apparatus El Grito has an estimated daily paper circulation of 10 million, as well as operating news and sports television channels. Contemporary forms of Cerveran television media include the telenovela, a form of dramatic soap opera usually premised upon competing love or business interests and featuring a recurring cast of characters serialized over a period of years. Cerveran film tends to follow a similar pattern, focusing on meta-historical settings for its plots, which may contain veiled allegory to present-day conditions; these are usually tolerated by censors.
Cervera has a rich musical tradition stemming from its precolonial era, with classical Cerveran music influenced by colonial life as well as movements and styles from Albaterra, Arbenz and Agrana y Griegro; ranchero music is considered to be a hallmark of Cerveran traditional music often played by large ensemble bands. Modern popular musical genres include the natively-derived reggaeton, bachata, and zumba as well as rap and various forms and styles of rock music. From the mid-2000s onward, Cerveran artists have gained increasing international recognition, most notably rapper YG Cero collaborating with Theykan artists on an album released in 2020.
Pre-Directivist Cerveran architecture ranges the gamut from Agranian-inspired styles, Gothic and Neoclassical designs to buildings incorporating indigenous motifs. In the Directivist era, early construction tended to be strictly utilitarian and of the constructivist and brutalist schools, a trend which continued into the 1980s before being gradually supplanted by high tech architecture and more recently by a resurgence in interest of classically-styled structures.
Cervera does not keep official statistics of religious affiliation, and is officially a secular state, having formerly embraced state atheism during the Garcia era. Following the Directivist Revolution, church property was expropriated, foreign clergy expelled and seminaries and churches closed; these actions led to diplomatic protest and withdrawal of relations from Tiperyn and Agrana y Griegro. The bulk of religious persons in Cervera follow the tenets of the Marian Church, though Haqiqatan, indigenous religious movements and syncretic new religious movements are also found in the country. Restrictions on public practice of religion were gradually loosened from the late 1960s, with the reconstituted Marian Church of Cervera established in 1971 as a distinct organ from the mainline Marian Church of Agrana y Griegro, with whom it shares liturgical practices but is not in communion.