The contras is the name given to the rebel groups that were active from 1979 through to the early 1990s. They were against the Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government in Nicaragua. Among the separate contra groups, the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) emerged as the largest by far. In 1987, virtually all contra organizations were united, at least nominally, into the Nicaraguan Resistance.
From an early stage, the rebels received financial and military support from the U.S. government. President Ronald Reagan supported the group. After the U.S. support was banned by Congress, the Reagan administration secretly gave them money from profit they gained after selling weapons to Iran. These secret activities soon became known as the Iran–Contra affair.
- Confessions of a Contra: How the CIA Masterminds the Nicaraguan Insurgency by The New Republic, 5 August 1985
- "The Contras' Valley Forge: How I View the Nicaragua Crisis", by Enrique Bermúdez (with Michael Johns), Policy Review magazine, Summer 1988.
- The Contras and U.S. Funding from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
- U.S. Policy Towards the Contras from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives