Quote1 S.H.I.E.L.D. can't help a butcher like Novoty beat Hydra. But good old, lovable General Denz? Hero freedom fighter? Him we can drop a lot of bombs for. Quote2
-- Maria Hill src

During Sokovia's fight for independence, General Alois Denz was a legendary leader. His desire for democracy ran afoul of the country's new leader General Novoty, and he became a political prisoner.

Alois Denz (Earth-616) from Captain America Steve Rogers Vol 1 7 002

Genral Denz in his prime

Many decades later, when Hydra invaded Sokovia and opposed Novoty's forces, General Denz was broken out of prison by Captain America and Black Widow on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D., so he could become a political leader once again, and provide S.H.I.E.L.D. with a reason to launch coordinated air strikes on Hydra.[1]

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