While these latest accusations could be false, it should be no surprise that Colombia does whatever it can - aboveboard and via subterfuge - to collect economic and military information about Nicaragua - and it's a sure bet that Nicaragua does the same about Colombia.
Even war planning is natural between to such adversaries. But it's a pretty certain bet that no sane mind in either government would want an armed conflict. For Colombia's part, any attack on Nicaragua would gain it little, cost money and lives and bring down on Bogotá the world's condemnation, in addition to all the moral issues. Nicaragua would have all the same reasons to avoid war, as well as the fact that it would get beaten soundly by Colombia's much larger and more tested military.
None of which, of course, means that an unpopular leader might provoke a confrontation in order to rally nationalist sentiment.
An international court in The Hague is now evaluating Colombia and Nicaragua's conflicting claims to the San Andres archipelago and surrounding waters. Colombian government officials have promised to accept the court's ruling. Nicaragua's have not - because they know the court won't give them the islands, over which Bogotá has long exercised sovereignety.
Grindingly poor and underdeveloped, Nicaragua does its impoverished people no favors by keeping this old and futile dispute alive. But it serves the politicians in Managua well, by distracting Nicaraguans from their pressing troubles.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours