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Freedom fighters who sought to overthrow the American backed dictatorship that existed in the state of Nicaragua.

They formed a socialist government with the popular support of the local people and the added support of many local catholic priests. Following their taking of power in Nicaragua they established a wide program of education, health care and house building the like of which has rarely been seen in Latin America. They also began the introduction of democracy in a participative form that Nicaragua had not seen previously

With the intervention of American funds the Contras were established to fight against the newly formed state. The Contras had very limited support from the local population, and a people's army that was poorly funded but well supported fought against them.

Eventually, worn out by Contra tactics and with the threat from America to step up funding for Contra actions the people voted out the Sandinista government. This followed an extensive campaign which included leaflet bombing of the local population informing them of the potential death of their children at Contra hands if they failed to vote the right way

The official political party that the Sandinistas were members of was the FSLN - Frente Sandinista Lieberacion Nacional. Named in honor of Agusto Sandino (1895-1934), a nationalist figure who fought the occupation of Nicaragua by U.S. forces starting in the 1920s.

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