The US Government’s Odd Relationship with a Country That Doesn’t Exist

Key West is no stranger to odd occurrences, mostly thanks to its close proximity to the infamous Bermuda Triangle and the far greater horror of Florida itself, but this story is out of the ordinary even by that area’s standards.

This article details the NSA’s files on The Conch Republic, more commonly known as Key West, Florida. The Conch Republic was established in 1982 in response to a US Border Patrol checkpoint set up on US 1 which threatened the island’s vital tourism industry. The formation of The Conch Republic was a satirical protest rather than an official secession, but this didn’t stop them from having to fend off an “invasion” from the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion of the US Army Reserve while on an unannounced training exercise in 1995. Luckily there were no casualties on either side.

Conflict between The Conch Republic and the United States flared again in 2008 when a citizen attempted to take advantage of a loophole in the wet feet, dry feet policy to secure a plot of safe, affordable land for Cuban refugees. Former presidential hopeful Jeb Bush stepped in and shut the attempt down. No legal action was taken against the Conch citizen.

Any aspiring secessionists currently in the US should look at The Conch Republic and take a note from the humble micronation: A little humor goes a long way.

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