In a startlingly swift development, nations around the world with long-held grievances against neighbours and diaspora communities abroad have seized on the UN Security Council’s failure to condemn the invasion and annexation of Crimea. The UN Security Council, one of the principal guardians and enforcers of international law, only voted 13-1-1 against the Crimea moves, meaning the failure to condemn could now be interpreted as tacit approval.  The power of precedent has now emboldened one nation after another to implement the sorts of expansionist policies that their leaders have hitherto had to repress harder than politically inconvenient minorities in far-flung regions.

Image courtesy of davric, some rights reserved.

Image courtesy of davric, some rights reserved.

One of the first to seize the opportunities inherent in this new international law precedent was Ecuador’s media-darling president, Raffael Correa. Citing past Peruvian aggression along Ecuador’s southern border and the firmly-held belief in a buried Incan treasure in the rainforests along the southern march, Ecuadorian troops crossed the fifth parallel and by morning of April 1st, the residents of Peruvian town Chicalayo woke up to Condor-themed flags flying over their town hall. Word of emergent countryside militias not withstanding, some residents actually seemed resigned to their fate. “After giving asylum to Assange, I just don’t think the Americans and NATO will bail us out”, said local tilapia farmer Angel Chiriboga. Others, including members of the expat community were more defiant. “It’s not that we’re attached to being a part of Peru, but why couldn’t it have been Bolivia? I have a pet guinea pig and now that we’re a part of Ecuador, I’m worried he might get eaten!”, Steven Carroll, a dual US-Peruvian citizen told our reporter on the ground.

Crimea’s domino effect was not limited to the Western Hemisphere. The Walloons of Belgium have long resented the fact that largely French-speaking Brussels found itself an enclave in the northern, Flemish-speaking part of the country. With tensions between the two regions rising in past years, the floodgates of land grabs opened by the Crimea precedent emboldened the mayor of Mouscron Helene Ovaere, to rally surrounding municipalities and march on Brussels.  The international enclave at the heart of Europe was briefly thrown into turmoil, as Flemish-language blackboards outside of street-side cafes were torn down, and replaced by French ones. Puzzled Flemish-speakers stared in disbelief at alien words like café, wondering if it was anything like the koffie they were accustomed to.  Mayor Ovaere gave a triumphant speech in front of the European Parliament early on April 1st, insisting it was high time the EU institutions became out-dated bastions of Francophones. Awkward glances were exchanged by MEPs, because the EU institutions already are just that.

The FAR can now exclusively report that so far, the latest land grab, which took place only a few hours ago, in the late morning of April 1st, occurred in Slovakia. The militant regional government in north-eastern Czech Republic, centred around the historic town of Opava, had long entertained Reconquista-themed fantasies on the Slovak capital of Bratislava. Now that international law was out of the way, the Czechs made their move. Bratislavans, still in the throes of jubilant celebration over the defeat of the Socialist candidate in the presidential election held over the weekend, were caught completely by surprise. The long time Mayor of Opava, Marie Pechova, promised the residents in the newly annexed city an ex-post-facto referendum, but the outcome seems predetermined. The new Slovak President, Andrej Kiska, fled the city and is rumoured to be in a safe but undisclosed location in the town of Starý Smokovec. The newly installed Mayor of Bratislava, Vlado Varadin, sworn in just minutes ago, promised the residents of Bratislava a bright future, reunited with their Czech brothers and sisters.  No word yet on whether Bratislava would keep the Euro currency, as officials in Brussels were unavailable to comment, being preoccupied with the Flemish annexation.

The FAR continues to monitor the international situation, and will bring you updates if more major news breaks today, on April 1st. Reactions are coming in from world leaders regarding this string of recent developments. The Interim Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk held an emergency press conference at which he directed the following scathing remarks at NATO and the West: “I told you so”.  Meanwhile, there has been no word from Moscow about this string of developments, although RT posted photos of President Vladimir Putin going to work this morning looking particularly smug. Of course, it is hard to say whether the smug look referenced the recent global developments, or just the fact that he keeps on playing the West for fools with relative impunity.  The political leadership of St Andrews University was also unavailable for comment, though sources inside the Union can confirm that the Union’s armed forces, the Ents, have been put on high alert, following Principal Richardson’s remarks about needing to protect the considerable adult minority that works in the Union building from increasingly authoritarian rule in the waning days of the Hill administration.

Stay tuned for more updates on these breaking stories, and have a good April 1st.