The Xiomeran Imperial Navy has imposed a blockade on Salad Land after a series of disputes between the two countries. Facing no resistance, Imperial forces have occupied the capital Port Salad. Imperial Marines attached to the Punitive Task Force currently hold both the Palace de Salad and the Prime Minister’s Residence. It is believed that both the Marquis de Salad and Prime Minister Leighton Taylor are currently in Xiomeran custody.
“After a series of insults and thefts by the Saladian government and their rulers aimed at Xiomera, we have had no choice but to respond,” Prime Minister Toquihu told the Imperial Parliament today. “We have placed a military force in the Saladian capital to encourage their government to negotiate in good faith with Xiomera concerning our differences.”
Among those differences, the paramount one is the billions of quetzals’ worth of funds and assets in Saladian banks that the Saladian government seized in October 2023. The Saladian Prime Minister ordered the seizure of the Xiomeran assets in response to Xiomeran aggression against Huenya. A secondary issue is an outstanding debt owed to the Xiomeran corporations Zacuetz and Mizhua over construction of a naval museum and tourist attraction. The Xiomeran government had also protested over the treatment of a prominent Xiomeran MP in August 2023 while she was visiting the country.
“It is highly unlikely that the government will seek to permanently occupy Salad Land,” a high-ranking Xiomeran defense official said on condition of anonymity. “Once our assets are released and the debts owed us paid, along with suitable compensation for Saladian insults, we will withdraw. The point is to show that the Empire will not be treated in such a cavalier fashion.”
Haesan labor issues become Milintican campaign fodder
As the Milintican presidential race continues on, the latest issue to come up between rivals President Matōchmizalo and Communist Party candidate Neina Arana has been the ongoing labor issues roiling Haesan.
President Matōchmizalo has chosen to take a more restrained stance on the issue. He issued praise for the protesters in Seoyeon, as well as the protesters at the much larger protest in Suyang. “These workers are standing up for their rights and the rights of their fellow workers, and Milintica stands in solidarity with them,” the President said. He stopped short, however, of criticizing the government of Haesan for breaking up the protest in Seoyeon due to it “undermining economic security.” This has often been cited in the past in Haesan to limit workers’ protests. The President is seen as trying to walk a fine line. He has tried publicly to maintain Milintica’s traditionally pro-worker stance. His government, however, is also keen to court economic ties with advanced IDU economies in order to jumpstart Milintica’s moribund economy. For that reason, the President has tried to back the protesters in Haesan without irritating that nation’s government.
That delicate dance quickly earned him the derision of Arana, whose MCP has been much more vocal in its criticisms of the Haesanite government. “Any government that would stomp on the backs of the workers to protect the economic interests of the elite is criminal. We could just as easily be talking about Xiomera as about Haesan when it comes to that point,” Arana told a crowd of MCP supporters today. “Both governments apparently see fit to squash protests when the men with the money snap their fingers.” Arana was then quick to tie Matōchmizalo to the issue. “Any Milintican leader who won’t stand up for workers’ rights everywhere is a traitor to what Milintica stands for. We have never been about just making sure our people are protected. We are supposed to be the vanguard of a worldwide revolution. Let us be blunt, Matōchmizalo is a coward and a puppet of capitalist interests who want to make Milintica over in their image. He cannot be trusted to stand up for workers and thus he is not right for Milintica.”