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For All Nails #47: A Speech Never Given

Office of the Governor-General

Final Draft of Vitavised Speech by GG

22 January 1973

[Editor's Note: After the events described in A Paper Tiger Revealed, this speech had to be substantially revised...]

My fellow North Americans: I come to you tonight with important news about a military operation on the island of Puerto Rico. As you know, several revolutionary factions have contested the rule of Puerto Rico since the collapse of Spanish authority two years ago FN1.

Several weeks ago, we learned that the so-called "Republic of Boricua", in conjunction with various European interests, was conducting dangerous experiments with radiative materials, experiments that could potentially lead to an atomic explosion FN2, near the northwestern town of Moca. This week, factional fighting erupted near Moca, threatening a release of radiative material FN3. In the interests of safety, we felt compelled to intervene.

Elements of the Royal Confederation Marine Corps and other forces have now secured the area of Moca and are at this moment seeing that the radiative materials are in safe hands. These forces will withdraw when this operation is complete, which should be in a matter of days. Foreign personnel in the area will be briefly interned and then returned to their homes FN4. The area controlled by our troops will briefly be under military government, but the civil rights of the inhabitants will be fully respected.

The Confederation of North America has neither the moral right to nor any intention of mandating a particular government for Puerto Rico, though none of the current factions seem ready to provide the peaceful rule of law that the inhabitants deserve. We remain ready to provide our good offices for negotiations between the parties, either alone or in conjunction with other powers. In particular we welcome the cooperation of the United States of Mexico, who like us have an interest in the stability of the region.

Last month the Kingdom of Australia FN5 became the fifth nation to successfully test an atomic bomb, and three other nations have active research programs likely to lead to one: the USM, the Kingdom of Scandinavia, and the Empire of Japan. The current crisis makes one thing absolutely clear -- the greatest danger from the presence of atomic weapons in our world is not their potential use in war, but their involvement in the myriad conflicts between and within small nations that plague us everywhere. Tonight I take this occasion to call for a conference of all eight atomic or nearly-atomic nations to develop plans to combat the spread of atomic weapons. In particular, I propose that the Caribbean Basin become an "atomic-free zone", where no power will introduce such weapons or permit them to be introduced by other parties. It may be appropriate to designate other atomic-free zones in other parts of the world, toward an eventual end of controlling this menace everywhere FN6.

The action today has led to loss of life, both among our brave soldiers and among the people of Puerto Rico. We deeply regret the necessity of this action, and our prayers go out to all our forces, their families, and to the unhappy people of Puerto Rico, in the hope that their suffering will lead eventually to a safer world.

Good night, and God bless the Confederation of North America.


David Mix Barrington

(Proceed to A Near-Run Thing.)

(Return to For All Nails.)

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