The Contras were a collection of former soldiers from the Samoza regime opposed to communism in Nicaragua in the 1980s. They were dubbed "counter-revolutionaries" by the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua in the 1980s. The United States under Presidents Jimmy Carter  and Ronald Reagan covertly supported the Contras.
Revelations of this covert funding fueled the Iran-Contra affair. Oliver North, who was intimately involved with the funding, is currently a senior correspondent at the Fox News Channel. No one was ever convicted of violating any law by finding the Contras. Convictions for other aspects of the covert operation were overturned on appeal.
Communist propaganda portrayed them as even more notorious brutes than the Sandinistas. According to this portrayal, the Contras "regularly destroyed health centers, schools, agricultural cooperatives, and community centers-symbols of the Sandinistas' social programs in rural areas." 
President Ronald Reagan honored the Contras by describing them as the "Moral Equivalent of our Founding Fathers."
See: Boland amendment.
- Remembering Sandinista Genocide by a man who did his honor's thesis on Reagan's policy toward the Sandinista government
- Cuba: State Sponsored Terrorism Nicaragua 1979.