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The Sandinista National Liberation Front is today a social democratic political party in Nicaragua. Its members are called Sandinistas in both English and Spanish. The party is named after Augusto César Sandino who led the Nicaraguan resistance against the United States occupation of Nicaragua in the 1930s. The FSLN overthrew Anastasio Somoza Debayle in 1979, ending the Somoza dynasty, and established a revolutionary government in its place. Following their seizure of power, the Sandinistas ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990, first as part of a Junta of National Reconstruction. Following the resignation of centrist members from this Junta, the FSLN took exclusive power in March 1981. They instituted a policy of mass literacy, devoted significant resources to health care, and promoted gender equality. A militia, known as the Contras was formed in 1981 to overthrow the Sandinista government and was funded and trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency. In 1984 elections were held and described as free and fair by international observers but were boycotted by some opposition parties. The FSLN won the majority of the votes, and those who did oppose the Sandinistas won approximately a third of the seats. Despite the clear electoral victory for the Sandinistas, the Contras continued their violent attacks on both state and civilian targets, until 1989. After revising the constitution in 1987 and after years of resisting the United States-supported Contras the FSLN lost the election in 1990 to Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, but they retained a plurality of seats in the legislature. (via Freebase)