ZEVARUS PRIME — Federation President Nan Bacco arrived in Romulan territory, becoming the first sitting president to visit the Romulan Star Empire since the turn of the 24th century.
“Let this visit mark how far we’ve come,” said Bacco as she addressed hundreds of thousands of spectators who had gathered to watch her speech in the capital city of Kentrih. “Let today be not a new start but rather the next step in our continuing journey towards greater cooperation and understanding between our two great nations.”
Though the crowds refrained from outbursts of cheers, polite applause sprinkled throughout the speech, and many Romulans in attendance seemed pleased by the president’s words, which referenced not only the recent humanitarian aid the Federation had extended to the Empire in the aftermath of the Hobus supernova but also the contributions of the Romulan people to the war effort against the Dominion nearly two decades ago.
“The Romulans are a proud people. It was a wise move on the president’s part to acknowledge the ways the Romulans have helped the Federation in the past,” noted Dr. Gabriela Varela, Professor of Romulan Studies at Amazon University in Brazil, Earth. “The Romulans don’t like reaching out for help, which they view as exposing vulnerability, nor do they like overt displays of assistance from others.”
Indeed, this mindset led to a number of cultural misunderstandings early on during the Hobus relief campaign missions conducted by Starfleet and other Federation organizations.
“They are quite distrustful of charity seemingly offered with no strings attached. Helping out because of a mutual benefit or to repay a prior debt though is viewed in an entirely different light,” added Varela.
Still, not everyone was a fan of Bacco’s speech.
“Why is the president downplaying the sacrifices countless Federation members and colonies have made to help the Romulans?” asked Councillor Antasa Dros of Peliar Zel II, who watched the president’s address from Earth.
“Yes, I supported the relief campaigns and the settlement of refugees, but not because we owed the Romulans anything back but because it was the right thing to do. It’s who we are,” she said. “Does anyone really think the Empire would have been equally generous if it had been Earth and Vulcan destroyed instead of Romulus and Remus?”
The question of the Federation’s generosity was a contentious issue all throughout this past year’s presidential election season, and the election of Nimbus III Chief Administrator Narala to the Federation’s top post is seen by many political analysts as a sign that Federation citizens want a tighter rein on that generosity and a greater focus on the needs of their own worlds that have struggled through the ongoing challenges of piracy and a languishing economy still recovering from the Federation Transport Union strike.
Following her speech and a visit to a school, Bacco left Zevarus Prime for her next stop at Mira Maj VI. From there, she will continue onward to Kevratas and then end her trip at the new Romulan capital of Rator III, where she will give an address to the Imperial Senate, just in time for the new year back on Earth.
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