Q24N (EFE) The Government of Nicaragua claimed this Tuesday from the United States, through the United Nations (UN), an old compensation of more than US$12 billion dollars for the damages they owe for backing the civil war in Nicaragua back in the 1980s.
The claim for compensation, ordered on June 27, 1986, in a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Justice (ICJ), was officially abandoned by Nicaragua in 1991, but the government of President Daniel Ortega has once again insisted on collecting.
The new claim for non-compliance was presented by Ortega to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, and delivered personally by the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada, within the framework of the 37th anniversary of that ICJ ruling.
Ortega asked Guterres to circulate the letter with Nicaragua’s position as an official document to all UN member states.
“Nicaragua takes this opportunity to remember that there is a historical debt with the Nicaraguan people that 37 years later has not been paid by the United States,” the Sandinista president said in the letter.
Ortega maintained that it is not “an obligation pending establishment or subject to an advisory opinion from a judicial body,” but rather “an obligation clearly established in a final judgment of the highest international judicial authority.”
He recalled that 37 years ago the ICJ issued a ruling ordering the US to compensate Nicaragua “for all damages caused as a result of military and paramilitary activities” in the Central American country.
“The estimated value of the damages, in March 1988, the date on which the report was presented together with all the supporting documentation thereof, was estimated at 12 billion dollars,” Ortega explained.
“This amount does not reflect the damages after said date, the consequences of which are currently verifiable. For example, to this day the country’s social security system continues to pay pensions to the war-injured and their relatives, including those who were part of the counterrevolutionary forces illegally financed by the United States,” he added.
In this sense, Ortega criticized the United States for not having assumed “the social cost of said illegalities.”
Likewise, according to the Sandinista leader, “the damages for which Nicaragua requested compensation did not reflect the totality of real damages, but rather were limited to the acts over which the Court had jurisdiction to hear them.”
“The quantification of the damage suffered by Nicaragua, presented to the ICJ, had the support and endorsement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (Cepal),” he said.
Ortega criticized that “the compensation owed to Nicaragua continues without being paid.”
In addition, he explained that Nicaragua “discontinued the procedure before the Court to determine the amount owed, but at no time did it renounce the payment of the debt, that is, the right to receive compensation.”
“Nicaragua never received something to which it did not have a right (such as the right not to be attacked) in exchange for discontinuing the trial before the Court. Instead of receiving compensation as it morally and legally corresponds, Nicaragua continues to be the object of a new type of aggression,” Ortega said.
Since 1991, the United States has considered the compensation case closed.
In the letter, the Nicaraguan president criticized that in the current context, in which Nicaragua is experiencing a crisis, “it has once again been the victim of attacks, now euphemistically called sanctions, and the victim of an attempted coup,” which is how Ortega qualifies the protests that erupted in April 2018 over controversial social security reforms.