Cinco de Mayo

It started as invasion by France to collect a debt, but the larger and better equipped French invasion force was defeated by a ragged group of Mexicans, some armed with little more than machetes and pitchforks. The Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862 hardly registers in Mexico, but around the world Cinco de Mayo has become a cultural event.  It was, at the heart of it, a people’s victory.  It took a few years for the colorful armies and politicians to sort it all out, but the victory at Puebla is a story deep at the heart of Mexican character – a determination and toughness that the great continent of North America shares as a very odd, sometimes dysfunctional family.

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