For Nicaragua, International Case Against Germany Is Déjà Vu

For Nicaragua’s representative to the International Court of Justice, this week’s hearing before the World Court was a case of déjà vu.

But experts in the Central American nation saw it as a cynical move by a totalitarian government to bolster its profile and distract attention from its own worsening record of repression.

Weeks after being sharply criticized by a United Nations investigatory team for human rights violations, Nicaragua, a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause, on Monday took Germany to the international court at The Hague for supplying arms to Israel.

After accusing Germany of ignoring what it called clear signs of genocide, Nicaragua asked the court to order Germany to cease arms sales to Israel.

Carlos J. Argüello Gómez, Nicaragua’s agent before the U.N.’s 15-judge court known as the ICJ, said the case was a throwback to when Nicaragua sued the United States before the same court. At the time, the United States was supporting a group known as the Contras, a counterrevolutionary force that sought to overthrow Nicaragua’s left-wing Sandinista government.

“The present case is different, but it has a striking similarity,” Mr. Argüello told the court in a speech Monday.

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