When the war ended and the Soviet Union, traditional backers of the Sandinista Front, collapsed, the army was reduced; about 20,000 officers, including Mendoza, were dismissed. Last year, he formed a veterans association that some people accuse of secretly maintaining weapons.
Mendoza said this week that he fears the "accomplishments" of the Sandinista revolution are being destroyed.
"The Jackal and his people hate the Sandinistas," he said. "It's politics, but it's more than politics. It's hate. They want the Sandinistas to disappear."