The Civil War in Nicaragua was the armed conflict in Nicaragua of the 1980s between the Marxist government of the FSLN and the anti-Communist Contras armed groups. It was an important element of the global Cold War. The active phase of hostilities lasted from 1981 to 1988. Military superiority remained after the government, but the Contras attacks forced the government to a political compromise. The war ended with a Sapoa peace agreement and holding free elections in Nicaragua in 1990, which were won by an unarmed opposition.
In 1979, the Sandinista revolution overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza. On July 19, an insurgent army of FSLN entered Managua. National Guard ceased organized resistance. Power passed to the government junta of National Reconstruction, representing the FSLN and other organizations of the democratic opposition.
The first structures of the armed underground were founded by former National Guard. Ricardo Lau created an anti-Sandinista group. On December 31, 1979 officers of the National Guard (Enrique Bermudez, Ricardo Lau, and Juan Gomez) emigrated from Nicaragua founded the Legion in Guatemala called September 15. However, the Legion of September 15 remained a small organization whose activities proceeded mostly outside Nicaragua.
In the first post-revolution months, there were practically no conditions for a civil war. The idea of an armed struggle against the Sandinistas did not have any wide support. The vast majority of the population, not only rejected somocismo, but also supported the new regime. The social base of the opponents of the Revolution was limited by the former Somoza guards and a small circle of diehard somocismo supporters as Aristides Sanchez.
The situation changed with the tightening of the Sandinista policy, which was gradually taking shape, close to real socialism. In the autumn of 1980, the ruling FSLN declared itself a Marxist party. Liberals, social democrats, and demo-socialists were driven out of the government. Power was concentrated in the leadership of the FSLN. The Ministry of Internal Affairs under the leadership of Borge and DGSE intelligence agency deployed political repression. Nationalization was carried out in the economy, including the agricultural collectivization, especially in a cluster of coffee production. Radical anti-Sandinista calls met a response of many Nicaraguans, who were dissatisfied with the suppression of civil liberties and the repression by the DGSE.
Thus, by the end of 1980, there was an environment of armed anti-Sandinista resistance in Nicaragua.
The Civil War in Nicaragua was the armed conflict in Nicaragua of the 1980s between the Marxist government of the FSLN and the anti-Communist Contras armed groups. It was an important element of the global Cold War. The active phase of hostilities lasted from 1981 to 1988.