Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: California secession backers are trying to open an embassy in Russia

The hysteria around “Calexit,” a call for California to leave the union, has died out in the weeks since Donald Trump was elected to the presidency. One group isn’t giving up hope. The Yes California Independence Campaign, which assembled long before Election Day 2016, is taking meetings in Russia to establish a California embassy. Louis Marinelli, president of Yes California, left for Russia two months ago to join forces with the Antiglobalization Movement of Russia. The grassroots campaign shares Marinelli’s belief that a state has a right to self-determination, he claims. His plans include a resource center that will educate Russian locals on Californian history and culture, foster trade relations, and encourage tourism. Marinelli clarified that the embassy will not conduct diplomatic affairs, but rather, serve as a promotional front for Yes California. Marinelli envisions a network of Yes California hubs around the world someday. The Yes California campaign aims to put a measure on a 2018 ballot that, if passed, would bring California one step closer to legally seceding from the union.



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