First and most straightforward, was Nicaraguas allegation that the United States had placed anti-shipping mines in the maritime approaches to Nicaragua and the harbors of Nicaragua. The facts in the case were relatively straightforward. Between January and April, 1984 the United States directly and through proxies mined harbors on both coasts of Nicaragua. A top secret memo written by Colonel Oliver North and Constantine Menges, both involved in the operation, detailed the mining operations and their objectives: On the night of February 29, [U. S. NAVY SEALS] emplaced four magnetic mines in the harbor at Corinto, Nicaragua. ...
ARDEs "Barracuda Commandos" took credit for the operation. ... Our intention is to severely disrupt the flow of shipping essential to Nicaraguan trade during the peak export period. [ CENSORED ] In this case, our objective is to further impair the already critical fuel capacity in Nicaragua. (North and Menges, 1984) The United States Congress became aware of American involvement in this operation and condemned it. The facts of this part of Nicaragua are straightforward and simple, U.S. documents confirm that the U. S. Participated in the placement of explosive anti-shipping mines with Nicaraguas twelve mile maritime limit and in Nicaraguan harbors. Therefore it is not surprising that the World Court ruled in favor of Nicaragua by a majority of twelve to three: By laying mines in the internal or territorial waters of the Republic of Nicaragua during the first months of 1984, the United States of America has acted, against the Republic of Nicaragua, in breach of its obligations under customary international law not to use force against another State, not to intervene in its affairs, not to violate its sovereignty and not to interrupt peaceful maritime commerce. (International Court of Justice.
(July 1986). CASE CONCERNING THE MILITARY AND PARAMILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AND AGAINST NICARAGUA (NICARAGUA v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA). http: //www. icj-cij. org/docket/index. php? sum=367&code=nus&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&k=66&p3=5.) The second part of the Nicaraguan case was sightly more complicated. It alleged that the United States, directly and indirectly, supported the military activities of the mercenaries and paramilitary forces that were actively attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government of the FSLN in Nicaragua. However, before the World Court ruled in 1986 reports of the links between the Contras and the United Sates were appearing in the American media.
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