Palestinian struggle takes new meaning in Nicaragua

Following the World Court’s repartitioning of the Caribbean Sea between Nicaragua and Colombia, the Palestinian cause in the UN has taken on a new sense of urgency for this Central American country

News Analysis.

The work of Nicaragua’s Palestinian Solidarity Committee has taken on a sense of urgency for the Sandinista government.

Following Nicaragua’s historic victory this week in its decade-long legal battle for clear boundaries and sovereignty in the Caribbean, the Sandinista Front is apparently bolstering its solidarity efforts with the Palestinians’ struggle for territory and survival in the Middle East.

On Tuesday afternoon, the ruling party bussed dozens of Sandinista Youth to the UN offices in Managua to join a handful of Nicaragua’s Muslim community in standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and denouncing the undulating wave of violence in Gaza. Present at the protest were Sandinista notables such as Supreme Court judge Francisco Rosales and presidential advisor Paul Oquist, who wore a Palestinian scarf in solidarity.

Presidential advisor Paul Oquist (photo/ Tim Rogers)

While the Sandinistas’ support for the Palestinian cause is long-standing, it seems to have taken on new meaning following this week’s ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which repartitioned the Caribbean Sea between Nicaragua and Colombia, much to the former’s benefit.

With Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos griping about the Court’s decision and hinting that his country might not respect the ruling from The Hague, all Nicaragua can do is hope that international law will prevail over a more brutish policy of might-makes-right.

Similar to the Palestinians, who can’t match the firepower of the Israelis, Nicaragua is vastly out-muscled on the sea against the Colombian Navy, the largest in Latin America. If Colombia decides to disregard the new international boundaries and use their brawn to occupy the Caribbean waters that they have claimed for nearly a century, Nicaragua would be in a very disadvantaged situation against a much more powerful neighbor, even with international law on its side.

“The Nicaragua-Palestinian Solidarity Committee is here today protesting the weakness of the UN, which despite having created a Palestinian state 64 years ago has not been able to comply with its resolutions,” magistrate Rosales told The Nicaragua Dispatch at yesterday’s protest. “Each day the situation gets worse in the occupied territories as Israel applies polices that are similar to apartheid in South Africa.”

The difficulty of enforcing international law is something Nicaragua has already experienced after failing to collect on its war reparations awarded by the World Court in 1984 in a case won against the United States. Nicaragua hopes this time will be different and that international law—the only recourse a small country has against a large one—will be upheld.

“We turn to international law knowing we don’t have the capacity to resolve these problems any other way,” Rosales says. “The fact that the Palestinians have taken their case before the UN for a vote on Nov. 29 shows that even after 64 years, the Palestinians still think that UN can give an answer to their problem.”

For Nicaragua’s sake, the Palestinians better be right.

  • Will be interesting

    Can’t wait to see Nicaragua’s response when similar Court rules they are way out of line occupying land which belongs to Costa Rica on the ‘big river’.

    Would be a change to see a Central American country say, ‘we don’t like it but will abide by it’.

    Other than sucking up to Iran it seems ridiculous for Nicaragua to involve themselves with the Middle East. Lots more constructive things to do at home.

    • Jorge Greco Rodriguez

      Sir or Madam! That Land belongs to US NICARAGUANS and it was because of you americans we lost Nicoya and Guanacaste, I really dislike you and your comment

  • John Shepard

    Time to move on. I understand the history and the sense of solidarity, but Iran, Palestine, are a drag on Nicaragua’s bright future.

    CR is not going to sit idly by and watch as their tourists start going to Nicaragua. They have a potent public relations effort in the US, and will ensure that any “Iranian Terrorist Training Camps In Nicaragua” or “new Puracals” get widespread press.

    More to the point, what’s the upside for Nicaragua? Iran is an international pariah, and Hamas and Hezbollah are their proxies; the Palestinians played their cards very poorly in the last two weeks, garnering very little international support for their rain of terror on Israeli civilians.

    Does Nicaragua really want to be associated with this bunch?

  • Mela Pellas

    Ortega seems to enjoy siding with loosers. From Chavez to Palestinians, Ortega always puts Nicaragua on the side of the bad guys. Doesn’t seem to care about the country-image, yet wants more wealthy tourists to come down. All we are going to get is a bunch of leftist good-for-nothing broke pinkos, much like the ones we get now. Grow up Ortega. Be real.

  • Abu Sharif

    The Colombia case could give the ruling family a lesson: win soemthing clean and honestly, but then the more powerful shows up and just ignores it. See the parallel to the Nicaraguan elections? Of course the Family won’t learn anything from it, but it would be nice seeing them suffering from the experience.

  • Nick Velvet

    thewres so much misrepresentation of the Gaza attack it may be useful to post this Israeli Army vets view:

    this piece might serve to explain reality, also:

    While the UAS gave a mercenary terror army unlimited funding to kill Nicaraguans, you might recall the UN did, indeed offer the targeted state- Nicaragua- assistance, despite ferocious US opposition. So, no, its not crazy for the current ruling dynasty to look to the UN for help, or the World Court.