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Cinco de Mayo Greetings from Mexico
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May 05, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Today is Cinco de Mayo , which means "May the 5th" in Spanish. It commemorates the Battle of Puebla, a Mexican victory over the French on May 5th, 1862.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become, in recent years, a big holiday for Mexican-Americans and for politicians who wish to pander to them. It seems to be (along with Muslim observances of course) one of George W. Bush’s favorite public celebrations. It`s even been suggested that the U.S. declare Cinco de Mayo an official U.S. holiday.

What’s ironic is that here in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not a big deal. It’s basically a bank holiday, and a holiday from school. However, not in my school, which has classes today. So I have to work on Cinco de Mayo today, in Mexico .

An interesting historical detail about the 1862 Battle of Puebla is that Ignacio Zaragoza, the Mexican general in the battle, was born in Texas, during the brief (15-year) period in which Texas was part of an independent Mexico.

For more on the Battle of Puebla, you can read my Mexidata column on the topic here . Happy Cinco de Mayo !