RESENDING a0525 to change slug, which duplicated Washington story Nicaragua Accuses United
RESENDING a0525 to change slug, which duplicated Washington story Nicaragua Accuses United States of Trying to Topple Government
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ Lawyers representing Nicaragua accused the United States today of running a guerrilla war to topple the leftist Sandinista government, and said U.S. officials had ″concocted″ claims that Nicaragua supplied weapons to rebels in El Salvador.
After four days of testimony before the World Court, the Sandinista government outlined its legal case today in an effort to prove that the United States has violated international law.
The 15-judge panel ruled in May 1984 that the United States must halt any military activities against Nicaragua.
A ruling in the case is not expected for several months. Formally known as the International Court of Justice, the court is the legal arm of the United Nations and has no enforcement powers.
The Reagan administration pulled out of the proceedings last January, claiming the court has no jurisdiction in the case and accusing Nicaragua of using the proceedings as a ″propaganda forum.″
″The United States government conceived, created and organized the mercenary forces,″ Harvard University law professor Abram Chayes claimed. He charged that the U.S. government equipped, trained and directed Contra rebels, and hand-picking their political leadership to maintain control.
Chayes, arguing Nicaragua’s case, said, ″There has been direct combat support from the U.S. government to the mercenary forces.″
″The United States military and intelligence personnel conducted direct attacks against Nicaragua leading to the destruction of the nation’s oil supply system and the mining of its ports,″ he claimed.
Chayes was referring to actions against Nicaragua’s primary oil pipeline at Puerto Sandino on the Pacific coast, as well as the destruction of its oil storage facility in the coastal city of Corinto.
″These actions reflect policy decisions established at the highest level of the United States administration,″ said Chayes. ″The purpose of this policy and actions have been from the beginning the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government″ so it could be replaced by a government acceptable to the United States, he charged.
He accused the U.S. government of ″concocting″ the ″myth″ of an arms flow from Nicaragua to El Salvador in order to justify U.S. support for the Contras as a way of interdicting that purported weapons flow.
Nicaragua’s witnesses - a former CIA analyst, two government ministers, a French priest and an American law professor - testified earlier on alleged rebel atrocities, the damage done to the economy by the insurgency, and alleged U.S. plans to invade Nicaragua with a rebel force.
Nicaragua also released a notarized affidavit by former rebel leader Edgar Chamorro, who claimed the CIA organized and directed the guerrillas, and encouraged brutality.
Former CIA intelligence analyst David Macmichael alleged that the agency developed a plan to invade Nicaragua with 1,500 rebels, destabilize the Managua government internally, and destroy its international support.
He claimed the plan was carried out with the approval of President Reagan, and said U.S. support for the Contras is continuing.
Nicaragua’s finance minister, William Huper, estimated Tuesday that rebel attacks had caused $1.3 billion damage to the country’s economy.
Nicaragua first complained to the court on April 9, 1984, saying the United States was ″armed attacks″ against it and killing its citizens.