A North American Story

In just a few days we celebrate a holiday somewhat more popular in the US than in Mexico. That’s just as well because it’s a classic North American kind of holiday in many ways.  We are a family, which is why our relationship is so intense and personal at times.

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 was 150 years ago this Saturday.  It was not decisive, needing a few years before the colorful armies and politicians could 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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