Speed Reads

Calexit

The nonexistent Independent Republic of California opens an embassy in Moscow

The Independent Republic of California has yet to be established, but it just opened its own embassy in Moscow.

Louis Marinelli of San Diego is a leader of Yes California, which wants the state to split off from the United States and form its own nation. Marinelli, in Russia to work on immigration issues related to his wife, told the Los Angeles Times the "embassy" was opened last weekend in order to "start laying the groundwork for a dialogue about an independent California joining the United Nations now."

Yes California argues that the state, which has the sixth largest economy in the world, could "do more good as an independent country than it is able to do as just a U.S. state." The group also says it feels the United States "represents so many things that conflict with Californian values," and continued statehood "means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children." The effort must first be approved by voters in 2018, then also win a special election in 2019. Should it get that far, it would face an immense legal battle, but Marinelli is shrugging off the long odds, telling the Times, "All major social and political movements in this country take time and inevitably have to overcome failures and setbacks before they are ultimately successful."