The United States Atlantic Remnant is a governing body in the Caribbean that was created to serve the the citizens of the US Territories of the United States of America and those living or visiting what is now the East Caribbean Federation after Doomsday. It was created by the remnants of the US Navy which had left Guantanamo Bay after Doomsday. The military structure has helped maintain the American spirit in the region. The actual land under sovereign USAR control includes the US Virgin Islands, Navassa Island, and Culebra and East Vieques (by treaty with Puerto Rico). However, Americans all over the Caribbean are included under its care. The American consulates in all the islands of the ECF are under the authority of the USAR. Following contact with the mainland successor state to the United States, the two have restored full diplomatic ties as well as partially united under the pretense of harmonized political goals and military consolidation.
The Americans in the East Caribbean were affected by two nuclear blasts - one near Guantanamo Bay Naval Base (by an American strike against Santiago) and one at the eastern tip of the main island of Puerto Rico. Guantanamo Bay was a facility under "perpetual lease" from the Cuban government. The Castro regime, though, had rejected this lease as illegal and had only left the base alone due to international pressure. With the destruction of the government in Havana, this animosity did not go away.
On the Virgin Islands, tens of thousands of tourists from mainland America and abroad found themselves away from home for what would most likely be forever. Governor Juan Luis tried to keep the tourists calm and provided them with food and shelter, but unrest ensued as the populace saw a permanent increase putting a strain on many resources.
Crisis at Guantanamo Bay
Already on high alert with word of a nuclear exchange, the US forces at Guantanamo Bay Naval base had been shocked that the US had actually bombed Santiago. This act signaled to local Communist troops that the treaty of 1903 was considered void. Cuba was now at war with the USA, making Guantanamo Bay fair game. However, the perimeter of the US Naval Station was impenetrable to their meager attempts by land. The local forces nearby had no other choice but to call Havana for instructions. Havana, of course, had also been bombed.
In the meantime, Captain M.D. "Fritz" Fizgerald began an orderly withdrawal of the troops and supplies from the now useless stronghold. It was known that it would be only a matter of time before the remnant governments of the US and Cuba would be in negotiations, and that the base would have to be closed. Before the end of November, 1983, nothing was left at the base but empty buildings. Shortly thereafter, Cuban forces occupied the base during their campaign to restore order to Cuba. The US forces had relocated to Jamaica, with a small contingency having made it to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands by way of the Dominican Republic.
Navassa Island, an uninhabited island off the coast of Haiti, took on new importance with the unrest in that troubled land. Long a US territory (disputed by Haiti), the island supported a herd of goats and thousands of seagulls. Off its shores Haitian and Jamaican fishermen claimed whatever the sea would yield. Only the smallest of boats were able to come ashore because of the reefs and the cliffs. However, the US armed forces had landed helicopters upon the island on their way to Jamaica in order to establish a strategic location at the southern gate to the Gulf of Mexico. It was, after all, an untouched resource of the United States. Within a month, the troops there had begun building New Lulu Town near the light house. Relations were set up with Jamaican officials that assured supplies to the waterless outpost. Throughout the late eighty's work was done on clearing the harbors of reefs and demolishing cliffs on the island's southwestern shore. A man-made port was up and running in 1991. On the north end of the island, state of the art desalination facilities were constructed with the help of Jamaican engineers to relieve the drain on resources that Lulu Town was becoming to Jamaica. By 1992, the deserted island had begun to bloom. The indigenous goats, however, had long since become a footnote in history, though attempts had been made to preserve them. Seagulls, on the other hand, continue to pester the new human inhabitants. In 1995, the first civilians began to come to Navassa, and Lulu Town grew to a population of 527 (as of 2009).
Organizing the Remnant
In May of 1984 communications officers of the Atlantic Fleet received what many thought to be a bizarre message said to be from George Bush, president of what had become the acting government of Americans around the world. The American Provisional Government, set up by the late president Ronald Reagan (who died at sea on the way to Australia), had decided that it needed to protect the assets of the US armed forces. General Order 0001-1984 called all forces to gather in Australia.
Most of the Atlantic Fleet which had been stationed in the Caribbean, however, had considered that this order was unconstitutional. Without a sitting Supreme Court to appeal to, however, they had no choice but to mutiny. Whole units decided by agreement to stay "in America" to support the survivors. Most of that "America" was the diaspora in the Caribbean. Concentrated in the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the units made contact throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic islands - from Bermuda to Belize. Negotiations with the various independent nations that arose when European "motherlands" were destroyed helped to smooth the transition of the Americans to life in involuntary exile.
When the troops from Guantanamo Bay had reached San Juan, they found that the nationalism on the main island of Puerto Rico was intense. There was little interest in fighting fellow Americans to uphold the US government's "claim" on the territory, so the commanding officers moved on to Charlotte Amalie. There they found that Governor Juan Francisco Luis was very much in favor of setting up a provisional government in the capital. After negotiations with the new government in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands acquired the minor island of Culebra, the "Spanish Virgin Island" (also the birthplace of the Governor Luis), and the eastern half of Vieques. The end result of the negotiation was a mass exodus of the non-Hispanic "gringos" from Puerto Rico onto Culebra and Eastern Vieques. In the transition from US territory to home of the Remnant American government, there were heated debates in the Legislature and from the Lt. Governor Julio Brady's office with the territory wishing instead to seek independence or 'statehood' in the ECF. Governor Luis, though, was proud of his American heritage, and backed the islands to become the last American state known to exist. For his efforts, Luis was appointed as the first Commissioner of the islands, and the voice of the people of the USAR to the world. He would leave office in January of 1987 as Captain M. D. "Fitz" Fitzgerald, USN, became the next governor of the transitional government of the state of The Virgin Islands, USAR.
Finally, on July 4, 1989, the American flag was once again raised in Charlotte Amalie, in what had been the capital of the US Virgin Islands. From there, Americans throughout the Caribbean and Western Atlantic were represented by the new government known as the United States Atlantic Remnant. In agreement with the government of the ECF the Americans living among the Caribbeans would send representatives to St. Thomas and would live as "foreign nationals" among the populations of the young Federation.
In the 1990 elections the Governor Fitzgerald saw a uprising of the native population of the former Virgin Islands and abruptly withdrew from the race in favor of nominees from among the islanders themselves. The orderly transfer of power left him the logical choice for Commissioner when the new governor, Alexander F. Farrelly, was sworn in on January 7, 1991. As Commissioner, Fitzgerald would serve under two presidents before retiring from the Navy as a Rear Admiral in 2001.
Exodus from Panama
Another influx of military personnel came to the Virgin Islands from the Panama Canal Zone. Most of the Americans who had survived the nuclear blast to Panama City had been living in a condition little better than the country's guerrillas and former drug traffickers. Most of the forces had spent 1983-4 banding together to try and maintain a safe pocket in the hills just west of the canal. But after a year or so, divisions appeared within the US forces in Panama, with some detachments heading for the Caribbean coast to leave the Panamanian quagmire.
The Virgin Islands were the obvious destination for these Americans. Information reaching Panama was sketchy, but they knew that the Islands were likely the only safe US territory in the region. The large number of abandoned ships in the port of Colón would facilitate their exodus. A few small boatloads, mostly civilians from the base with armed escorts, began trickling over from Panama late in 1984, and by 1987 a few thousand troops, support personnel, and family members had made the crossing. Many of them were put to work on Navassa Island.
Hurricanes of 1989 and 1995
Five years after its formation, the Remnant's durability would be put to the test. On September 18th, 1989, a Category 5 hurricane struck the island of St. Thomas, The capital city of Charlotte Amalie was left in ruins, with the excrption of stone and concrete buildings. The government was temporary relocated to Cruz Bay while the military was deployed to start relief efforts. The nightmarish damage left the government dumbfounded on how to go about rebuilding. The governor and military chain of command both decided to start a massive national undertaking to put the mainland and Panamanian refugees back to work clearing the rubble and gathering the resources to rebuild the capital. The military engineers ordered how and what would be constructed as well as help open up stone quarries in The hills above the city as well as in some of the smaller islands. By 1991, Charlotte Amalie had been rebuilt to military specifications, first incorporating a grid layout and expanding the city size to accommodate for the refugee influx as well as building codes requiring stone and concrete walls, although subpar wooden huts still dominate the working class areas.
More to come...
Relations with the APA
From the beginning, relations had been shaky with the APA due to the gathering order, with the government on St. Thomas vehemently proclaiming that America was alive and well in the Atlantic. For over a decade, George Bush had attempted to have forces from Australia and New Zealand to travel to the Atlantic to take possession of American property (i.e. military property) there. His allies down under, though, were not willing to do this, and the war in Alaska prevented further action. Political pundits argued that the USAR would not survive, but ironically it outlasted the APA. By the time the League of Nations had been created in 2008, the USAR had a seat at the table as an observer 'nation.'
In 2010, word would arrive from Torrington, Wyoming that the United States of America was not dead. And George Bush, now in retirement, would learn that the American spirit was still alive and well - and not just in the Caribbean! The USAR, meanwhile, had made contact with the CRUSA observers at the LoN. This lead to a visit
The New Millennium
The Atlantic Remnant grew to become a powerful presence in the Caribbean. However, for as many allies they had, they also had rivals or enemies. They had not dropped claims to Guantanamo Bay, which was by now under Cuban control but the Cubans claimed that not only was the original occupation illegal, but that base had become fair game when it was abandoned.
The USAR also did not forget US claims to the Panama Canal Zone. When it became clear during the 1990s that Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador were cooperating to rebuild the canal, the USAR sent a delegation to investigate. The USAR's position was that since the Republic of Panama had ceased to exist, the South Americans served as the legal successors to its government. As long as the South Americans honored the 1977 treaty between Panama and the US, the Remnant would hold up its end as well and drop its claim in 1999. As a sign of good faith the USAR contributed a small contingent of troops to help defend the city of Colón, thereby restoring the US military presence in the Canal Zone. Some US troops continue to serve there as paid mercenaries of the South American Confederation.
America's history came back to haunt the remnant when it came to the tiny uninhabited isle of Navassa, which was 200 miles off the coast of Haiti which had claimed the island ever since its independence in the nineteenth century. In order to permanently re-enforce this claim, the Atlantic Remnant turned the rocky isle into a inhabited outpost which was a military and economic asset. By using dynamite to blow up several of the steep cliffs, they made it easier to access the interior of the island All of this, however, was to resume mining the guano on the island which could be used for anything from fertilizer to gunpowder which could be a huge economic boost to the Remnant.
The American Spring
In 2009 a representative of the Committee to Restore the United States of America had left an impression on both the Commissioner and the governor. An invitation had been made for the activist to relocate to the island of St. Thomas. In February of 2010 he took them up on the offer, moving the international headquarters of CRUSA to Anna's Retreat, the island's second largest city. Throughout that year, the CRUSA began an orderly move toward promoting a new United States of America.
To mark the official first day of spring in 2011, impatient citizens lead by the CRUSA, began to stage co-ordinated demonstrations throughout the islands. On Navassa Island, the local government called on the military to keep the peace as the civilian minority was especially hostile to a perceived military government. Jamaican officials were called to be on alert for any potential uprising.
Meanwhile, on St. Thomas, organizers were more successful in coordinating the demonstrations near the capital. Though military units were visible, the speakers of the unionists were allowed free speech as they called on support of the overtures from President Allard of the USA. The mood among the white minority was especially positive, though the native population of the Virgin Islands remains divided as to the course of the reunion.
The populations of the provinces ceded from the nation of Puerto Rico are reported to be ecstatic. Word from the leadership of those islands is that reunion with the USA, when reconstituted, was assumed in the treaty that created the provinces. Across the way in Puerto Rico, the American expatriates who live and work there are at a quandary as to what their protectors in Charlotte Amalie have in mind for them.
The Election of 2011
In an off-year, most election days are little noticed events, but November 8, 2011, proved to be an exception due to the important vote of the populace as to whether to re-unite with the United States of America in some capacity. The campaign had been heated at times, as native Virgin Islanders wondered whether this new designation would cause problems in the region. When it became clear that the East Caribbean Federation was not opposed to the autonomous government taking on a new alliance, the opinion polls had swung toward embracing the "New" United States. It helped, as well, that American authorities assured the Remnant that the new government was not connected with the old APA.
As a result of the important decision to be made by the voters, elections were being held as well for provisional representatives to serve in the US Congress and Senate from the new state. The winners would serve until regular elections in 2012 if the measure for statehood passed. On Saturday, November 12, the votes for reunification were officially verified. The vote to join the United States had passed 61% to 39%. Word reached Torrington by radio contact at 3:00 pm Torrington time.
New Associations and the Present Day
Since July of 2012, Governor Percy de Gongh, Vice President Micheal Simpson, and several other key politicians have been in negotiations on how to create a practical union between the two governments. Statehood is likely ruled out due to the fact they are two-thousand miles apart from each other and the New United States has only had maritime access since mid-August after the annexation of Oregon. Several proposals were shot down due to realistic capabilities not being acknowledged initially, so the September deadline for the decision was delayed by several months. Finally, as key investors, money-movers, foreign opinions as well as compromises reached, it was agreed that the United States Atlantic Remnant would enter into a "military and political union" with the Torrington-based United States successor.
Announcement of this arrangement was initially met with unrest and confusion on the islands (most notably in much of the local pre-Doomsday populace which was split down the middle toward allegiance to the Remnant and American identity and those favoring ECF affiliations), the final arrangement only favored a military and political realignment with the "mainland" United States, while maintaining a rather laissez-faire approach toward the nations different currencies and economic systems, as this would cause the least friction in the Caribbean while still maintaining a reinforced American identity. Many were not in favor of this initially, however,
Operation Spearhead (2013-2014)
Though under the authority of the ECF Armed Forces, the American troops are afforded the autonomy to protect and defend Americans as their first duty. The government in Charlotte Amalie has maintained mandatory conscription of all citizens from the age of 18 (or 22 for those in school) to 35 since its inception. This conscription, though, is only valid in actual American islands. All others, in order to enjoy American citizenship, must register for a draft in case of any major crisis that might arise.
The economy of the East Caribbean Federation is greatly enhanced by the presence of the American diaspora and its government on St. Thomas. The capital of Charlotte Amalie was the premier port city of the Caribbean and has remained a hub for a thriving import of foreign goods from all over the world. As contact in recent years has increased, the former US Virgin Islands, along with their neighboring "British" Virgin Islands, have seen an increase in tourism to what remains a tropical "paradise" unmatched by anything outside of the ANZC. In addition to the imports, the exports in abundant tropical fruits and cane sugar have made the American islands the richest among those of the Caribbean. The fishing industry also exports some of the best seafood available in the Atlantic. The chief exports of the Atlantic Remnant are textiles, rum, pharmaceuticals, and refined petroleum. In refining much of the crude oil from Venezuela, the government in effect is able to maintain its Naval forces.
The modern day culture of the Atlantic Remnant is reflected by both the conservative social mores of the US military of the 1980's and cosmopolitanism brought by the different groups of tourists who were stranded there. As the leaders of the Remnant movement worked among the Caribbean islands (including Bermuda), the survivors that had been stranded in exile held tenaciously to their American heritage. They were saddened that the government had fled to Australia, but were determined that the USAR leadership had made the right decision in preserving the last known vestiges of civilized America in the land that Columbus had discovered.
Entertainment was largely tied to movies and video-taped television from pre-1983, played in American "ghettos" all around the ECF. VCR recordings and players became a must in the homes of thousands. In the US Virgin Islands, the "native" Islanders continued their own culture, though over time the increased White (or Euro) population led to many cultural crossovers on both sides. After a time of humanitarian runs to the US mainland, the cruise ships began running tours of the islands for the ECF and eventually for SAC tourists as well. The upper class of Americans, as well as the middle class who worked on the ships, helped to return a pride to Americans far and wide.
The primary sport played throughout the islands was baseball. In fact, by 2000, even some games were played with Cuba as the USAR government opened to the economic reality that they needed to trade with the island. Even the turmoil in Haiti had not kept the spirit of baseball from flourishing there. Though the nation had no teams of its own, many Haitians ended up playing for Jamaica and the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico, it turned out, had a nationalistic pride that assured that no Haitians, or even Dominicans, were recruited for their teams.
The African-American community from the mainland is largely separated from the Afro-Caribbean majority, as cultural differences still contribute to fighting between the two groups. African-Americans have had a easier time assimilating into White American culture than into that of the Afro-Caribbeans. Even before Doomsday blacks in the islands largely outnumbered whites, and even with large numbers emigrating from the mainland blacks outnumber whites 4:1. As much as the military leadership has tried to encourage racial diversity, the blacks in that culture have largely assimilated into the majority culture. American whites, for the most part, accept this even though there are more of them (the whites) than pre-Doomsday. The majority of the blacks, though consider their assimilated kin as "oreos" or even "Uncle Toms".
The island of St. Thomas is home to a large community of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asians, as well as a sizable Jewish community.
The primary language spoken in the remnant is of course English. However, the variants and creoles spoken on the islands differ drastically. On St. Croix and the more urban parts of St. Thomas and St. John, Caribbean English with slight American accents and verbalism is most prevalent. Among lower class parts and the more rural areas, various Creoles such as Crucian or deep Jamaican are spoken. Miami English is spoken by the Cuban-Americans who emigrated to Eastern Vieques in the thousands following humanitarian missions. Spanish makes up the second most spoken language and is spoken in nearly all places of international business as Spanish countries and their culture are constantly entering at the ports, and many of the younger generation speak the language bi-lingualy.
The flag of the Atlantic Remnant has a symbolic meaning, telling a story of the creation of the Remnant. The red in the upper-left corner represents the blood spilled on the mainland during World War 3, whereas the blue stripes represent the ocean. The eagle on said stripes represent that America still lives on in the Virgin Islands.
By the time that the League of Nations had formed in 2008, the Remnant was the only known American body left apart from those associated with the ANZC. And so, against the advice of former US President Bush, the USAR was granted observer status. This status, however, will be absorbed into the foreseen membership of the USA , assuming that the USAR joins the USA as a new state. As the only remaining American territory under an American government, the USAR has seen tension with the continuing Communist government of Cuba. However, relations with Puerto Rico have remained strong, as many of the Puerto Ricans have taken dual citizenship in order to remain in the new nation. Relations with the SAC vary with the individual nations, but overall the political climate remains cool as the USAR sees the growing power of South America.
In mid-December 2010, President Allard of the newly re-instituted United States of America met with Governor de Jongh in Charlotte Amalie to discuss the process of bringing the USAR into the nation as the state of the Virgin Islands. Town hall meetings began in January 2011 to discuss the proposal among citizens in all the islands. Since entering into a political bloc with the Torrington-based United States government, the two have been able to amplify their respective presences on the international field, largely due to the consolidation of naval resources and funds, as well as from agrarian shipments to the Caribbean.
A 2015 Census revealed a total population of about 244,000 total citizens living mainly throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America, with about 180,000 of these living in the USVI as well as Culebra and East Vieques.
The racial composition of the island was estimated as 65% Black, 28% White, 3% Asian, and 12% Mixed, with an additional 2% claiming Native ancestry. Around 12% of these were also considered "Latinos"; one-sixth of the Black population has origins in the mainland African-American community. It should be noted that since the mid to late 1990's, the Latino population has steadily gone down, as those previously living in the island as laborers or permanent residents eventually decided to migrate to South America due to improve economic conditions. It should also be noted that a large spike in White-Black interracial marriage (and thus leading to a 500% increase in the Mixed population) occurred due to US military infantry who ended up marrying Afro-Caribbean wives upon settling in the Islands at a ratio of three-to-one of those who married from their same ethnic background.