Civil War in NICARAGUA
The Nicaraguan Civil War is more commonly known as the Nicaraguan Revolution. There were encompasses these events that made up the revolution: the rising opposition to the Somoza dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) attempting to oust it, then the FSLN attempting to govern in Nicaragua from 1979-1990, and the Contra War between the FSLN and the Contras from 1981-1990.
Anti-Somoza opposition started to arise in 1961, and grew in popularity and support among peasants, the communist Cuban government, and the Panamanian and Venezuelan governments. The organization had a Leninist point of view, donned the name FSLN, and by 1970 was strong enough to physically attack. Throughout the 70's, the FSLN executed their plans and on July 17, 1979, Somoza stepped down and essentially gave control to the FSLN. When in power, the FSLN made many reforms in the economy and in the culture of Nicaragua, and imposed communism on the country.
In 1982, Somoza loyalists and people opposing the Sandinista, known as the Contra (for counter-revolution), or Nicaraguan Democratic Force, waged war against the Sandinista government. The Contra were backed by the United States and its allies, while the FLSN was supported by the Soviet Union and its allies. In the 1984 general elections, the Sandinista regime stayed in power, with 67% of the population voting for the Sandinista president. In the 1990 election, the political party UNO (National Opposition Union), which was a coalition of different parties meant to bring down the FSLN and was also backed by the U.S., won and took control of Nicaragua. The UNO set up pro-U.S. relations as well as capitalism.
Overall in the revolution, from 1978-1989, around 40,000 people were killed, and the country was ravaged by the guerrilla warfare. Resources and interests from around the world were also put into the conflict.
As with the other wars examined on this site, the Nicaraguan Civil War represents communism versus capitalism and the U.S. versus the Soviet Union. The takeover by the communist-backed Sandinista regime proved to be a victory for the Soviets, and a stick in the side for the United States. Because of this, the United States put more effort into regaining capitalist and anti-communist power back in South America, which they eventually did with the UNO victory in 1990. The Civil War was once again smaller version of the Cold War itself, because of the fight for the U.S.'s and the Soviet's interests.
Here's a link to a interactive map of U.S. involvement in Latin America during the Cold War and other time periods: