Nicaragua's Ortega: U.S. Should Aid Ex-Contra Guerrillas

President Daniel Ortega said Wednesday that the United States should contribute $300 million to a church-headed Peace and Reconciliation Committee which aims to heal wounds from the nation's civil war.

Ortega made the comment in a news conference alongside Roman Catholic Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo, who will head the committee.

In the 1980s, Ortega's leftist government fought a war against U.S.-backed Contra guerrillas. Ortega said the United States' involvement in the conflict left the nation with a responsibility to aid victims.

The recently formed committee will help give war victims Roman Catholic burials among other activities.

Ortega returned to power in January after being out of the presidency for 16 years. He says he has moderated his views since the 1980s civil war.