I’m looking to see if there are any nations interested in setting up diplomatic relations to help explain Maraixian independence. These relations could be basic or detailed as you’d like (we could just hash out some basic factbook information here or take it another direction).
I’m primarily interested in setting up relations with two countries: one from which Maraix declared independence (“Country A”), and one with longstanding cultural/administrative ties, into which Maraix wants to enter a defense agreement (“Country B”).
Are you interested? Read the long or TLDR version of Maraix’s history, which also describes the role of each country.
- In 1788, 6 convicts (five adult men and one 13-year-old boy, named Tom Morrisson) boldly broke out of the royal prison in “Country A” and managed to steal a small royal navy sailing vessel.
- The leader of this band of fugitives was a former navy officer who had been found guilty of treason and was slated for execution a mere two days after the daring prison escape. Astonishingly, he was able to guide the band on the stolen vessel into the Tenebric Ocean, evading capture. They were last seen sailing away from a remote Tenebric island, after picking a small group of indigenous islanders (three men and seven women). The band would not be seen again for another 42 years.
- In 1830, a royal science/exploration vessel from “Country A” landed on what is now known as Maraix Island, and was amazed to discover a small population living there – Tom Morrisson (the last surviving member of the fugitive band), three of the original group of islanders, and the descendents of the fugitives and islanders who had made it to Maraix, then called Maw Island. As it turned out, they had sailed deep into the Tenebric Ocean and, instead of capsizing (as was assumed at the time), they landed at Maw Island, burned their vessel, and started new lives for themselves.
- “Country A” decided not to prosecute Morrisson. Instead, they claimed tiny, tropical Maw Island as an overseas territory, planting a flag on the shores of Vex Bay, much to the annoyance of the Maw Islanders. This territory also included two small, uninhabited islands in the vicinity of Maw.
- From 1830–1910, “Country A” was minimally involved in the affairs on Maw Island, due to its remote location, though it served as a distant waypoint and rest stop for exploration, whaling, and trading vessels.
- During the 20th century, “Country A” began to increase their investment in the population of Maw Island, providing infrastructural, educational, transportation, and healthcare support over the decades. Because of its remote location, this support was actually administered via “Country B,” which was in a better location (or perhaps had a better fleet) to reach the island.
- Maw Island reached a population peak of approximately 260 people around 1952, but the numbers began slowly declining. Though proud of their remote paradise, life was hard for the Maw Islanders.
This hardship led the population to place Maw Island on sale in 1977. In 1982, they sold the island to Juan Sébastien Rudolph Maraix, then known as a fabulously wealthy playboy owner of a small casino empire, who promptly renamed the island after himself. The sale agreement set aside the Apōiti-Vex community for the 186 remaining islanders, and their descendents, who could live within the community limits, rent-free, so long as they continuously occupied the land.
- As it turns out, Juan Sébastien Rudolph Maraix was one of the many aliases used by Juan Rossi Gutierrez, leader of an international drug cartel. Under the guise of developing the island for tourism, Gutierrez used the island as a center for his international smuggling and money laundering operations, while also employing a campaign of intimidation, harassment, and murder to drive the local population out of the community, further reducing the island population.
- When Gutierrez was arrested by “Country A” or “Country B” (or maybe both!) in 1997, it was discovered that he had placed the island under the name of his wife, Tiffani Amber Maraix. As such, while “Country A” and/or “Country B” confiscated many of Gutierrez’s assets, Maraix Island was not one of them.
- Tiffani Amber Maraix, upon learning of her husband’s arrest, fled to her home country and immediately filed for divorce.
- From 1998–2015, Maraix made several attempts to monetize the island, to little avail. While she was able to successfully sell a small portion of the island to a real estate developer, the amount she earned from the sale was insufficient to cover her mounting debts, back taxes, and expensive tastes. The developer built Marina Terrace, a luxury condominium and marina, and managed to sell most of its units as vacation condos to fabulously wealthy retirees and global nomads.
- In 2015, facing insolvency, Maraix placed the island on the market and began aggressively courting a number of phosphorous mining operations to make the sale.
- The Apōiti-Vex community, scarred by their experience of letting Gutierrez take ownership of the island, joined together with the Marina Terrace Homeowners’ Association (whose owners were horrified by the idea that phosphorous mining might destroy their idyllic vacation community) and the owners of Canavalia Resort, Inc., (the near-bankrupt owners of property originally built under Gutierrez’s sham tourism scheme) to raise money to purchase the island.
- In 2017, these three groups successfully purchased the island (and surrounding territories) from Tiffani Amber Maraix and immediately placed it into the Maraix Territorial Community Land Trust, to ensure joint ownership.
- While researching and establishing the land trust, the three groups realized that they could claim independence from “Country A” for… “reasons.” Thus, now in 2020, Maraix will file in court to officially organize themselves into the Free Homeowners’ Association of Maraix, with sovereign control over the land trust. The Constitution, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCC&R) thus serves as their declaration of independence from “Country A.”
- Due to its incredibly small size (there is currently only 1 security officer on the island), Maraix will seek to enter into a defense agreement with “Country B.” Because of its history of warm relations with “Country B”, Maraix also hopes to continue cultural connections and administrative services in the future, where feasible.
After a long history as a remote territory of “Country A”, with administrative services provided by “Country B”, and a more recent history of struggling to survive under the island ownership of an international criminal, the residents of Maraix pulled together to purchase all of Maraix from its current owner and establish the Maraix Territorial Community Land Trust in 2018.
While establishing the land trust, it became apparent for… “reasons” …that the Maraix Islanders could declare independence from “Country A”, which it does now, in 2020, as a free homeowners’ association with complete control over the land trust.
Where you could come in:
- Would anyone like to set up relations as “Country A”? You could help identify the “reasons” (legal loophole? tired of paying for remote island services?) for this declaration of independence, or just agree to appear in the factbook as the country from which Maraix declared independence. You can also feel as grumpy (or not) about this declaration as you’d like.
- Would anyone like to set up relations as “Country B”? Maraix has a long history of warm relations with “Country B” and would like to continue these relations (and as many administrative services as can be afforded) in the future.
- Additionally, Maraix will seek to enter into a defense agreement with “Country B.” As a micronation, Maraix cannot defend itself militarily, and cannot fight in military roleplays. It needs the protection of a nation with a larger military… well, any military, really. However, this defense agreement can be negotiated to include other kinds of support for your nation’s diplomacy and war efforts (such as humanitarian, diplomatic, espionage, etc).