These [national defense, national security, and border] laws are being imported from Cuba and Venezuela as part of a new plan to militarize the countries of ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas]. The defense bill package is an attempt by [President Daniel] Ortega to democratically impose a military boot upon Nicaragua’s democracy and force the population to participate in the [resuscitated Sandinista] revolution.
If the laws are passed and the new system of national security is implemented, Ortega would move quickly to arm and mobilize Sandinista groups – the Sandinista Youth and the Councils of Citizen Power – under the pretext that they are “volunteer reservists” organizing to defend national security.
This is a terrible, terrible militarization of the society in an undercover way; Nicaragua’s past is returning.
— Victor Boitano, lawyer and retired Sandinista military colonel, commenting on martial law package passed by Nicaraguan National Assembly before Christmas 2010; quoted in Nica/Tico Times (San Jose, Costa Rica), December 10, 2010