NicaNotes: The World Court’s Decision Means All Nations Must Respect International Law

Interview of Dr. Carlos Argüello by journalist Juan Cortez of Multinoticias, Channel 4, Managua, on April 30, 2024; translated by Tortilla con Sal.

Juan Cortez: Now, we have the opportunity to talk with Dr. Carlos Argüello, who is Nicaragua’s Representative at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Greetings Dr. Carlos Argüello.

Dr. Carlos Argüello: A very good morning. Greetings.

Dr. Carlos Argüello: “The Court reminded us again of the obligation that Germany has, like all countries that have been helping Israel, to respect the Genocide Convention and the Geneva Conventions on Humanitarian Law.”

Juan Cortez: Doctor, Nicaragua filed an important lawsuit over violation of the Genocide Convention for Germany’s open political, financial and military support for Israel, against Palestine. Can you explain to us, what the Court ruled today?

Dr. Carlos Argüello: Well, today’s was a preliminary ruling. That is, right now what we had requested is a kind of preventive embargo. We filed the lawsuit and at the same time asked for a kind of preventive measure…. And what we have asked right now is that, while the lawsuit is being processed, Germany stop sending weapons to Israel, and that it continue financing the refugee organization, the UNRWA as it is called, which Germany had stopped since January.

So, the court now decided that Germany had basically already complied with that, because it had already resumed financing [of UNRWA], and it demonstrated that it was no longer sending armaments to Israel. So, the Court said that as long as that didn’t change, it wasn’t necessary to give an order banning something that wasn’t happening anymore.

Now, what does that mean? The trial is actually just starting, so right now what we are going to is the part where the evidence is going to be presented and we will get to the bottom of the case.

It is very clear that what the Court was saying or what it has ruled now, they simply were not (…) in violation at this time. But Germany had said that, indeed, in October it had been funding Israel, but that now it had decreased and the funding had practically ceased.

So what the Court’s Order says is that if circumstances change, that is, if Germany starts financing again, then we simply resort to the Court again. This at the same time that the trial is continuing, these are incidental moves within the trial. So, it is not the main trial, the main trial is taking its course right now.

The important thing in this case is that the Court emphasized that it did not give the order right now to desist [in sending arms], because it had already ceased, but it reminded us again of the obligation that Germany has, like all countries that have been helping Israel, to respect the Genocide Convention and the Geneva Conventions on Humanitarian Law.

Because the position is not only that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention, which it is obviously doing. But it is violating all the Laws of War, because to be dropping one-ton bombs on the population is nothing more than a violation of the Laws of War that have existed for centuries; it is not even a matter of recent times.

The Court recalled all this and reminded [Germany] again of the obligation they have to respect. So, in conclusion, the trial is continuing, as the Court itself reaffirmed, because Germany, to cap it all, had asked the Court to say that it should not continue the trial. Obviously, the Court said that the trial is continuing, since the trial is just starting.

So, that’s pretty much the situation right now. For us it is satisfactory, because first, the Court said that we are right to say that Germany, like all countries that are helping Israel, have the obligation to cease doing so and to respect the Conventions that order the cessation of aid to a Country that is committing genocide and violating the Laws of War. So, at that point is where we are more or less so far.

Juan Cortez: As we talk, Doctor Arguello, the genocide against Palestine is continuing. Do you consider that these efforts like Nicaragua’s, with the lawsuit against Germany, are important, to stop, to influence in some way against this barbarism that is being committed against the Palestinian People

Dr. Carlos Argüello: That is actually what we think. The Nicaraguan Presidency had ordered that we use all means by which we could contribute to seek to put an end to this genocide and this massacre being carried out against the Palestinian People.

We consider that what happened just now is a warning not only for Germany because the Court did it in a generalized way; that is, reminding everyone of the obligation they have to respect these laws. So, it is a wake-up call and it is a bid to say “watch out” what they are doing, to all countries, not only to Germany.

Germany is the second largest contributor to Israel, after the United States. [Dr. Argüello explained in other interviews that the suit did not target the US because the US does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Court.] But there are also others, such as the United Kingdom, such as Canada, all these countries have to be clear about what the Court said right now and of what it is reminding us.

Of course, Nicaragua’s intention is to try to stop this collaboration, because if it did not exist, things would probably have been worked out by now and the situation would be completely different.

As we have said on other occasions and has been pointed out in other Forums, what happened in South Africa when Apartheid was in place was that, while all countries continued to collaborate with the racist regime, the racist regime continued to prevail. When the decision was taken and collaboration ceased internationally, the racist regime fell and disappeared. So, we consider that once the support for Israel stops, that may well happen.

Juan Cortez: Doctor, thank you, and do you have any closing comments.

Dr. Carlos Argüello: No. Rather, thank you for your attention. Here we are in the struggle, contributing in whatever way we can to our Palestinian brothers and sisters, who have been such a long-suffering people, that, frankly, need every support from all of us and everything we can do. Thank you very much, and a greeting to everyone.

Juan Cortez: Thank you very much, Dr. Carlos Argüello, and we will be watching the development of this lawsuit by Nicaragua against Germany.

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NicaNotes Briefs
By Nan McCurdy

Great Financial Investment in Solar Energy
As Nicaragua has worked to change its energy matrix, it has made important investments of almost US$5 billion since 2006 which have been recognized at the Central American level. Head of the Ministry of Energy and Mines Salvador Mansell discussed the development of the energy sector in recent years and future projects to be executed. In 2007, Nicaragua’s renewable energy was only 25% of total energy produced, and now the minimum is 70%, although it has on occasion reached 88% [depending on the wind and sun]. Mansell said that, in October, the El Barro project in the Department of Estelí, which is for wind energy, would begin. He also noted, “We have a 15-year projection of projects that we are going to study, that are going to begin; we will be above 200 solar megawatts next year. At this moment, the installed capacity is almost 1,900 solar megawatts.” This system is also connected to the Central American regional system. Mansell said that, in Ometepe, the Dos Volcanes solar plant is being finished, generating 1.5 megawatts, and the airport will be equipped with a small solar plant of 1 megawatt. (La Primerisima, 2 May 2024)

Nicaragua Reiterates Strong Solidarity with Palestine
The Government of Nicaragua reiterated its firm solidarity with the State of Palestine and said that it should be recognized as a full member of the United Nations, to make way for the only just and lasting two-state solution. This is the consensus of more than two thirds of the membership of the United Nations that officially recognizes the State of Palestine. The UN General Assembly met on May 1 to discuss the negative vote of the United States in the Security Council on April 18 to the request of Palestine to become a full member of that body. The Nicaraguan representative, Jaime Hermida, accused the United States of continuing to apply its policy of exceptionalism and obstruction in the Security Council, allowing the genocide and crimes of Israel in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. He stated that it is time for the US and European countries to listen to the voices of all humanity crying out for peace, justice and freedom, and to put an end to the unjustifiable policies of denial and exclusion of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. (La Primerisima, 2 May 2024)

Elected Authorities in the North Caribbean Take Office
Within the framework of the Autonomy Regime, 45 regional councilpersons and their respective alternates were sworn in and began their terms in Nicaragua’s North Caribbean Coast. This was in a solemn act presided over by the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) with the presence of special guests from the entire region made up of delegates of the Presidency, Indigenous Territorial Governments (GTIs), mayors, military authorities, delegates of the Ministries of Citizen Power and members of the National Students Union (UNEN).

Magistrate Brenda Rocha, President of the Supreme Electoral Council, said that this was the last activity on the calendar of the Caribbean 2024 elections held on March 3rd. She added that it reflected the active participation of the multiethnic coastal people in an atmosphere of joy and tranquility in which gender equity was guaranteed. The magistrates presided over the swearing in and delivery of credentials to each of the regional councilpersons. Following this was the election and swearing in of the new board of the Regional Autonomous Council of the North Caribbean Coast (CRACCN) composed of seven members, with Emilce Vanegas Wade as President. Council members also unanimously elected Carlos José Alemán Cunningham, as Coordinator 2024 – 2029 of the Autonomous Regional Government. The coastal people thus had the privilege of establishing their own government for the effective exercise of the historical rights of the multi-ethnic people. (La Primerisima, 4 May 2024)

Modern Hospital Inaugurated in Wiwilí, Jinotega
On May 4 the Ministry of Health (MINSA) inaugurated the Jorge Navarro Primary Hospital in the municipality of Wiwilí, Department of Jinotega. The Sandinista government invested US$7.62 million in the construction and equipping of this modern health care center, which has five buildings where outpatient and diagnostic services, hospitalization, emergency, administration and general services will be provided. The health personnel will provide care to more than 90,000 people living in Wiwili and the Indigenous territory of Alto Wangky. To celebrate the inauguration of the center, the authorities organized a mega health fair where 23,393 health care services were provided to pregnant women, people with brain, eye and ear disorders, malformations in arteries and veins, spinal hernias, chronic pain, neuralgia, hand, hip and knee problems, among others. During the first hours of operation of the Jorge Navarro Hospital, 11 babies were born. (La Primerisima, 4 May 2024)

Special Plan Monitors Nutritional Status of more than 50,000 Children
The Ministry of Health and Community Network brigades carry out special actions to guarantee improvement in the nutritional status of more than 50,000 children. As part of the National Plan for “Monitoring the Nutritional Status of Children from zero to six years of age,” this year the brigades have provided 749,368 services, including:

-50,639 attentions to children to monitor and improve their nutritional status.
-16,730 visits by the Community Network, as part of the program to monitor and promote growth and development.
– 483,419 house-to-house and school visits to children under six years of age, who were dewormed and received vitamin A, zinc, and micronutrients.
– 7,933 care visits to premature infants.
– 4,946 consults for pregnant women who are being followed up due to low weight gain in their babies.
– 87,471 counseling talks on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age and continued breastfeeding up to two years of age.
– 58,720 members of the Community Network trained and certified to identify children with nutrition problems and promote healthy lifestyles.
– 39,510 campaigns, nutritional health fairs, and talks held in the communities with parents, teachers, students, pregnant women and community leaders, to exchange experiences about the benefits of breastfeeding, healthy eating and physical activity for growth. (La Primerisima, 6 May 2024)

New Santa Rosa del Peñón Bridge will Strengthen Economic Activity
The Ministry of Construction and Transportation (MTI) has completed the 60-meter-long Santa Rosa del Peñón bridge, benefiting 18,700 people. Uncertainties, insecurities and anxiety in the rainy season will be left behind; this bridge will guarantee that families will have all-weather connectivity with the rest of the country. The bridge will improve the connection between the municipality of Santa Rosa del Peñón and the rest of the Department of León, and will strengthen the growth of the local economy. It will also improve access for agricultural production to national and export markets, boost mining production and promote the social development of the sub-region. See photos: (La Primerisima, 7 May 2024)

National Day of Dignity Commemorated at Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington
The Nicaraguan Embassy in Washington, DC, commemorated Nicaragua’s National Day of Dignity with the participation of solidarity activists who heard from Nicaragua’s representative before the International Court of Justice, Dr. Carlos Argüello. Chargé d’ Affaires Lautaro Sandino conveyed the greetings of President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo to the large audience, highlighting the example of Nicaragua in taking concrete actions in support of the Palestinian cause. Dr. Argüello spoke about Nicaragua’s motivations in suing Germany before the World Court, explaining at length Nicaragua’s efforts to stop the genocide against the Palestinian people. He emphasized that Nicaragua and its top leadership are contributing in this way to the defense of peace and international law, thus continuing the legacy of General Augusto C. Sandino of national dignity in the face of the maneuvers of U.S. imperialism and its acolytes in the rest of the world. [Editor’s note: The reason why May 4th is called the “Day of Dignity” in Nicaragua is because on this day in 1927, Augusto Sandino, breaking with his former ally Moncada, refused to sign the Espino Negro pact with US emissary Henry Stimson. Later that month Sandino wrote to Moncada, “I am at my post and waiting for you…. I will not sell out nor will I surrender.”  And further, “Our enemies from this day forward will not be the forces of the tyrant Diaz [supported by the US occupiers], but rather the Marines of the most powerful empire in history. It is against them that we are going to fight….”]  (La Primerisima, 4 May 2024)

Inmates Begin Courses in Agribusiness
On May 2 a new group of prisoners of the national penitentiary system started a degree course in agribusiness. Rene Vargas Artola, director of national penal education, said that it is part of the opportunity that the penitentiary system provides to the inmates, to prepare themselves in university careers. (El 19 Digital, 3 May 2024)

Nicaraguan Youth Express Their Solidarity with Palestine
In Nicaragua, young people joined protests in support of Palestine, marching in Managua and gathering in stadiums. They also expressed their solidarity with U.S. students in the face of more than 2,000 arrests at universities across the U.S. In Costa Rica, young people set up an encampment demanding that the country’s public universities break off relations with Israel. See Photos and video: (RT en Español, 5 May, 2024)

Photo Gallery: Beautiful Stadiums, Courts and Sports Centers 
In recent years, Nicaragua has built numerous state-of-the art sports facilities. Here are photographs of some of them in Managua, Estelí, Wiwilí, Masaya, and Tipitapa showing athletes and ordinary citizens enjoying different popular sports: (Nicaragua Sandino, 2 May 2024)

Join the NicaNet Google Group
The NicaNet Google Group consists of activists who support the sovereignty of Nicaragua and the revolutionary government of Nicaragua. Membership is free, and open to all who believe in the Sandinista revolution and the Sandinista government. The Google Group is supported by the Nicaragua Network of the Alliance for Global Justice. The Google Group is moderated by Dr. Arnie Matlin, Convener of the Rochester Committee on Latin America. Members are welcome to post to the group.  The topic must be totally (or at least primarily) about Nicaragua.  The only other restrictions are that we discourage more than one post in a day, except under emergency situations.  We encourage people to submit their own postings, but people can send in posts from other people, if it’s obvious that the piece was meant for public viewing. Finally, all entries must be in the form of civil discourse.  Ad hominem or ad feminam postings will be rejected. Thank you!