Today’s Cinco de Mayo
History teaches important lessons including that anything is possible. On this Cinco de Mayo, remember the dawn of May 5, 1862. There 6,000 elite, well-dressed French soldiers stood at Puebla. They had everything in their favor: the best training, the best weapons and they had not lost a battle in 50-years.
Then think of what was on our side. The man leading them was Ignacio Zaragoza. This guy called a General was just 33-years old and everyone knew he never even attended a military academy. Instead, he trained himself to become a soldier and the bunch of scrappy Mexicanos with him were mostly farmers with sticks. Odds were they didn’t stand a chance.
The French laughed at them and decided to get it over with fast so they threw their several thousand soldiers at the Mexicans only to be turned back. Now, angry and embarrassed by the peasants, the French troops threw more of their firepower into the next wave and the next. Three times, the Mexican stood their ground.
In one day, the mighty French, the world’s most feared army lost more than 500 men but most importantly, they lost the will to face an enemy more determined, more committed and more fearless because defeat for our people would mean losing everything --- our land, our families and most of all, our dignity. In the end, the victory at the Battle of Puebla was ours!
Today, LULAC is facing one of the most powerful forces in the country. They are the richest food producers in the world and their political influence in Washington is vast. These multi-billion dollar companies look at us and laugh that we dare to speak up for the workers; men and women they see as just a bunch of hands who every day feed America at whatever cost to themselves.
We are not letting that happen! Our workers in the farm fields, the processing, packing and shipping plants or the truckers and grocery store clerks --- our people are not expendable to be used up and thrown away. Infected, ill and some even dying. Juan and Maria will never again have to make a choice between their jobs or their lives as long as LULAC exists! Ya Basta!
Just like los Mexicanos de Puebla, we too are fiercely determined, united in our battle and we will never surrender our loved ones nor our dignity. Cueste lo que nos cueste, whatever the price, we will prevail because we have no choice. The lives of our community are at stake. May we celebrate today, Cinco de Mayo 2020, COVID-19 and all, knowing that we will see all this pass and 60-million Latinos will still be here --- working, contributing and growing to make our nation even better for all.
To los trabajadores! To the workers!
¡Que Vivan el Pueblo y Que Viva LULAC!
Hasta la Victoria!
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/