Nicaragua and Costa Rica produce books to present case

Nicaragua has beaten Costa Rica to the punch again by issuing a propaganda pamphlet that it is circulating in diplomatic circles. The pamphlet purports to reveal secrets that Costa Rica has hidden about the border invasion by Nicaragua.

Costa Rica produced its own book Sunday. It is titled “The Truth about the Incursion, Occupation, Use and Damage of the Costa Rican Territory by Nicaragua.” It contains photos taken in a flyover Friday. The book is available as a .pdf download from the Web site of the Ministerio Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

The Costa Rican book at 149 pages is about twice as long as the Nicaraguan one. It, too, is being circulated in diplomatic circles, including at the United Nations.

The Nicaraguan pamphlet says that Nicaragua has never invaded Costa Rican land and blames Costa Rica for not erecting boundary markers.

Costa Rica and Nicaragua did not meet Saturday for a session on the Río San Juan that was scheduled long before the Nicaraguan invasion. Each blamed the other country.

However, Costa Rica has said that there is little reason to meet until Nicaragua withdraws its armed troops from the national territory.

Advisers from the Organization of American States were in Costa Rica over the weekend, as were persons connected to the secretariat of the international convention on wetlands. Costa Rica continues to push the aspect of environmental damage done by Nicaragua in the northeastern section known as Isla Calero.

The worst is yet to come. Photos Friday showed that nearly all the trees have been cut in what is likely to become a new channel for the river.  This is the point of the invasion, although dredging was used as a cover. Troops continue to dig a ditch that river experts say will be opened wide by a flooding San Juan.

Costa Rica has appealed to the International Court at The Hague, which has jurisdiction over the international treaty setting the boundary between the two countries. Costa Rica wants the court to order that the work cease, although even some who favor Costa Rica’s point of view wonder if the court really has that power.

That meeting in The Netherlands is Jan. 11, and there is a chance that the river mouth will be a fact by then.

The Organization of American States plans to meet Dec. 7 on the same topic, but Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president, already has shown his contempt for the hemispheric body. An additional appeal will go to the United Nations Security Council, but it is not likely to get a high priority when compared to other world developments.

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