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Cinco de Mayo & Mexican Independence Day: 2 steps to ousting the French & Spanish COLONIZERS

When I got up this morning, I had only intended to whip up a lighthearted post featuring Mexican food and Grateful Dead songs. That changed when I got home after 6 PM from today's events.


First, as is my daily custom, I sat in silence for 20 minutes in my centering prayer practice. When I sat down to post...My thoughts were turned to "what is this celebration about?"


Those who are familiar with my writings know that I have used my platform to highlight injustices of various types. One of these is the evils that have been done to native peoples by conquering nations. These oppressors are usually called COLONIZERS...and they often justify their actions by claiming they are taking over these lands...


IN THE NAME OF THEIR G-D...


I've previously posted about this and have included a few links at the end.


Cinco de Mayo


[See article link below for all links and videos pertaining to this article. The added emphases below are mine.]


Also known as: Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla


Cinco de Mayo, holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honour of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.


When in 1861 Mexico declared a temporary moratorium on the repayment of foreign debts, English, Spanish, and French troops invaded the country. By April 1862 the English and Spanish had withdrawn, but the French, with the support of wealthy landowners, remained in an attempt to establish a monarchy under Maximilian of Austria and to curb U.S. power in North America. On May 5, 1862, a poorly equipped mestizo and Zapotec force under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops at the Battle of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City; about 1,000 French troops were killed. Although the fighting continued and the French were not driven out for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park.


The day is celebrated in the state of Puebla with parades, speeches, and reenactments of the 1862 battle, though it is not much noticed in most of the rest of the country. In the mid-20th-century United States, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo became among Mexican immigrants a way of encouraging pride in their Mexican heritage. Critics observed that enthusiasm for the holiday celebration did not take off with a broader demographic until it was explicitly linked with the promotion of Mexican alcoholic beverages and that many U.S. festivities tended to both perpetuate negative stereotypes of Mexicans and promote excessive drinking.


Cinco de Mayo is not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day, which falls on September 16. The latter holiday was established in 1810, some 50 years before the Battle of Puebla occurred.



Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla


[See article link below for all links and videos pertaining to this article. The added emphases below are mine.]


Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (born May 8, 1753, Corralejo, near Guanajuato, Mexico—died July 30, 1811, Chihuahua) was a Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary leader who is called the father of Mexican independence.


Hidalgo was the second child born to Cristóbal Hidalgo and his wife. He studied at a Jesuit secondary school, received a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy in 1773 from San Nicolás College (now Michoacán University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo) in Valladolid (now Morelia), and was ordained a priest in 1778. He had an uneventful early career, but in 1803 Hidalgo assumed his recently deceased elder brother’s duties as parish priest in Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato state). His interest in the economic advancement of his parishioners—for example, through the introduction of newer methods of agriculture—and his political convictions regarding the oppression of the people by the Spanish authorities caused the latter to regard him with suspicion.


In 1808 Spain was invaded by French troops, and Napoleon I forced the abdication of King Ferdinand VII in favour of the French emperor’s brother Joseph Bonaparte. Though Spanish officials in Mexico were loath to oppose the new king, many Mexicans formed secret societies—some supporting Ferdinand, others advocating independence from Spain. Hidalgo belonged to a pro-independence group in San Miguel (now San Miguel de Allende), near Dolores. When the plot was betrayed to the Spanish, several members were arrested. Warned to flee, Hidalgo decided instead to act promptly. On September 16, 1810, he rang the church bell in Dolores to call his parishioners to an announcement of revolution against the Spanish. His speech was not only an encouragement to revolt but a cry for racial equality and the redistribution of land. It became known as the Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”).


What he began in San Miguel as a movement for independence became a social and economic war of the masses against the upper classes. Joined by thousands of Indians and mestizos, Hidalgo marched forth from Dolores under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe. With his followers he captured the city of Guanajuato and other major cities west of Mexico City. Soon Hidalgo was at the gates of the capital, but he hesitated, and the opportunity was lost. His followers melted away. Royalists as well as other elements in Mexico were frightened by the prospect of social upheaval and supported the suppression of the rebellion. After his defeat at Calderón Bridge, outside Guadalajara, on January 17, 1811, Hidalgo fled north, hoping to escape into the United States. He was caught, expelled from the priesthood, and executed by firing squad as a rebel.


Though his accomplishments were not lasting ones, Hidalgo’s name became the symbol of the independence movement for most Mexicans. September 16, the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, is now celebrated as Mexico’s Independence Day.



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