After the July, 1979 overthrow of the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) took power. The “Contras” was the name given to the American-funded military effort to overthrow the Sandinista Government, waging war against Nicaragua from 1979-1990.
At the beginning, the US supported the Contras both overtly and covertly through the CIA. Though the Reagan Administration preferred to portray the Contras as the “democratic resistance,” they never did have a groundswell of popular support among the Nicaraguan people.
Eventually the US Congress distanced itself from this illegal war and withdrew all financial support. Support then went “underground”, spearheaded by Oliver North and others from the basement of the White House.
Many Americans knew little about the secret Contra War that was being waged against Nicaragua. The Contras committed many documented human rights violations, and typically operated solely in the rural areas of Nicaragua, wounding and killing peasants and small farmers in the northern part of the country and destroying roads, bridges, and infrastructure. North American Ben Linder and Nicaraguans Sergio Hernandez and Paolo Rosales were killed by the Contras on April 28, 1987 outside the village of El Cuà while they were surveying for a hydro-electric project.
“In 1984, the Sandinista government filed a suit in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the United States (Nicaragua vs. United States), which resulted in a 1986 judgment against the United States. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the contras in their rebellion against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors.” (Wikipedia, Contra_War)
TecNica Volunteers were instrumental in bringing the truth to the American people that they had witnessed with their own eyes in Nicaragua. Bolstered by letters such as the one that follows, they educated their friends, families, and communities until the funding for the illegal Contra war was exposed and discontinued.
Letter from Senator Alan Cranston
regarding funding for the Contra War