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Cinco de Mayo

StoryMay 05, 1998
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Today is Cinco de Mayo, a day marking the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" became a rallying point of Mexican unity and patriotism, and a symbol for the right of nations for to self-determination.

Cinco de Mayo is often confused in this country with the independence of Mexico, which took place more than 50 years earlier on September 16, 1810. But the country continued to face threats of foreign invasion as well as an internal political split. Cinco de Mayo, therefore, commemorates a historical uprising in Mexico that united sectors from all social classes–peasants, landowners, and industrial workers — in a people’s war where a small, under-equipped army of Mexicans defeated a vastly superior military power.

On May 5th, 1862, under General Ignacio Zaragoza, some 5,000 ill-equipped Mestizo and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army in what came to be known as the "Batalla de Puebla."

Tape:

An excerpt from a speech given by journalist John Ross, author of the book ??The Annexation of Mexico: From the Aztecs to the International Monetary Fund.

Guest:

  • John Ross, author of ??The Annexation of Mexico: from the Aztecs to the International Monetary Fund.

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