Congress had made its view clear with the Boland amendments: The United States government would not support the Contras in Nicaragua. However, the Reagan administration was determined to support the anti-Sandinista fighters. To get funds where they needed to be the administration concocted a complicated scheme involving missiles, Iran, hostages, and Hezbollah. It worked at first, with secret American arms sales leading to the release of an American hostage. However, complications at the Lisbon airport, more hostage taking in Lebanon, and the need for constant secrecy ensured that the scheme wouldn’t last forever.
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