WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO – IS IT MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: THE TRUTH AND HISTORY BEHIND WHAT THIS DAY REALLY MEANS IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN MEXICO

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

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It’s almost May 5, 2012, so Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! The day commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Texas born General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely triumph occurred, for many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

Cinco de Mayo in the United States

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.

Chicano activists raised awareness of the holiday in the 1960s because the day commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. They identified with the victory of indigenous Mexicans over European invaders.

Cinco de Mayo: And It’s Fiesta Time (To find out about the Seven Biggest Cinco De Mayo Parties in the US CLICK HERE

Today, revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago and Arizona.

Confusion with Mexican Independence Day

Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla. That event is commemorated on September 16, the anniversary of the revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s famous “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”), a call to arms that amounted to a declaration of war against the Spanish colonial government in 1810. The book The Course of Mexican History states “The exact words of this most famous of all Mexican speeches are not known, or, rather, they are reproduced in almost as many variations as there are historians to reproduce them.”The book goes on to claim that “the essential spirit of the message is…

‘My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once… Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the gachupines!’

Hidalgo’s Grito did not condemn the notion of monarchy or criticize the current social order in detail, but his opposition to the events in Spain and the current viceregal government was clearly expressed in his reference to bad government. The Grito also emphasized loyalty to the Catholic religion, a sentiment with which both Creoles and Peninsulares (native Spaniards) could sympathize; however, the strong anti-Spanish cry of “Death to the Gachupines” (Gachupines was a nickname given to Peninsulares) probably had caused horror among Mexico’s elite.

Cinco de Mayo: The History Behind What this Day Truly Means

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cPhoto: Battle of Puebla

In Mexico, the various factions that fought their civil war had borrowed large sums of money from foreign creditors. The fighting devastated Mexico’s economy, and the country had to suspend payments on its debts. Taking advantage of the relative weakness of the United States during the US Civil War, in December of 1861 the governments of France, Great Britain and Spain landed an allied military force at Vera Cruz to protect their interests in Mexico and to try to collect the debts owed to their citizens. Juárez negotiated with the allies and promised to resume payments, and the British and Spanish troops began to withdraw from Mexico in April, 1862.

source unknown

The French, however, did not withdraw and instead sent reinforcements to their troops in Mexico. At the time France was ruled by Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. Louis Napoleon was elected President of France, but after the election he proclaimed himself Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (the British referred to him as “the nephew of the uncle”). While negotiations for the Mexican government to repay its debts were ongoing, the French commander, General Charles Ferdinand Latrille, comte (Count) de Lorencez, advanced on Mexico City from Vera Cruz, occupying the mountain passes which led down into the Valley of Mexico. At this point it became clear that Napoleon III planned to turn Mexico into a colony. The French advance was along a route that had been used several times in the past to conquer Mexico, first by the conquistador Hernan Cortes and most recently by US General Winfield Scott during the Mexican War.

Napoleon III

France declared war on Mexico, and called on those Mexicans who had fought on the side of the Conservative Party in the civil war to join them. Napoleon III planned to turn Mexico into an empire ruled by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Josef von Habsburg, the younger brother of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary.

Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Josef von Habsburg

General Charles Ferdinand Latrille, Count de Lorencez, was the leader of the French forces – the Corps Expéditionnaire – which numbered about 7,300 men. He had been their commander for about two months. He was confident of victory. He boldly proclaimed, “we are so superior to the Mexicans in race, organization, morality, and elevated sentiments that as the head of 6,000 soldiers I am already master of Mexico.” He knew that less than 6,000 US troops – considered poorly trained and disciplined by European officers – had defeated a Mexican Army of 30,000 men under President General Antonio de Santa Anna (Antonio López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón) and taken Mexico City in 1847. General Count de Lorencez had over 1,000 more men than US General Winfield Scott, and the Mexican Army facing the French at Puebla numbered about 6,000 men (the French would later say 12,000) – far less than the army General Scott had defeated.
Left: Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (Chateau de Versailles); Right: Díaz at Puebla - This painting shows one of the critical moments of the Cinco de Mayo battle.  The French assault has begun to break up under the deadly fire of Mexican marksmen from Fort Loreto and the fortified monastery of Guadalupe.  Just then, General Porfirio Díaz appears, leading a detachment of Mexican cavalry in a charge against the dispirited French troops.

Left: Napoleon III, Emperor of the French (Chateau de Versailles); Right: Díaz at Puebla – This painting shows one of the critical moments of the Cinco de Mayo battle. The French assault has begun to break up under the deadly fire of Mexican marksmen from Fort Loreto and the fortified monastery of Guadalupe. Just then, General Porfirio Díaz appears, leading a detachment of Mexican cavalry in a charge against the dispirited French troops.

Furthermore, de Lorencez considered his own French troops far better trained and disciplined than the troops fielded by either the United States or Mexico. In order to make his entry into Puebla as impressive as possible, General Count de Lorencez ordered his troops to apply fresh whitening to their gaiters before the attack.

Texas born General Ignacio Zaragoza on Mexico’s 500 Pesos

The Mexican Army of the East (Ejército de Oriente), under the command of Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862), the vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. General Ignacio Zaragoza, took up positions at the town of Puebla (Puebla de los Angeles). This maneuver blocked the French advance on Mexico City. General Ignacio Zaragoza addressed his troops, telling them, “Your enemies are the first soldiers in the world, but you are the first sons of Mexico. They have come to take your country away from you.” Zaragoza ordered his commanders – Generals Felipe B. Berriozabal, Porfirio Díaz (José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori), Félix Díaz, Miguel Negrete and Francisco de Lamadrid, to occupy the Cerro de Guadalupe, a ridge of high ground dominating the entrance to Puebla, and the five forts which surrounded the town.

Of the forts, the two most prominent were situated on the Cerro de Guadalupe on either side of the road to Mexico City — the fort of Loretto to the right, and the fortified monastery of Guadalupe to the left. These were the positions that General Count de Lorencez ordered the Corps. After a brief artillery bombardment the French began their assault. Caught in a devastating crossfire from the Mexican troops manning the loopholes of the two forts, the French line faltered and then broke. The soldiers of the Corps Expéditionnaire charged the Mexican positions two more times, but each attack was repulsed by the withering musket fire of the Mexican troops. As the beaten French began their retreat, Mexican General Porfirio Díaz, at the head of a troop of cavalry, attacked them. Though badly shot up, the Corps Expéditionnaire was able to retreat in good order. They spent the evening of Cinco de Mayo waiting for an attack which never came. The next day, they began to withdraw back down the road towards Vera Cruz.

When word of the defeat reached Napoleon III, he replaced General Count de Lorencez as commander of the Corps Expéditionnaire with General Elias Frederic Forey, and sent 30,000 troops as reinforcements. The French reaction did little to lessen the shock of the defeat in Europe, and particularly in France. The Mexican Army had proved itself capable of standing up to a first-class European army, and defeating it. The victory of the Cinco de Mayo at Puebla is still celebrated today.

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WHO IS LAVINIA LIMON: MEET THE CEO OF THE U.S. COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES & IMMIGRANTS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

photo source FOX NEWS LATINO

Lavinia Limón has dedicated her career to helping people in trouble, especially immigrants, and is today president and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

“The USCRI, a citizens’ committee in Washington that tries to influence immigrant and refugee policies, recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding, and our responsibilities are to work on behalf of undocumented children who come alone to this country, the victims of human trafficking and refugees from all over the world,” Limón told Efe.

photo source USCRI

“In the 1980s I was executive director of the International Institute of Los Angeles, and after the immigration reform law was enacted in 1986, founded together with other organizations the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, CHIRLA,” she said.

Born March 5, 1950, in Compton, California, Limón is the daughter of a Mexican-American father and a mother of German descent. She graduated in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lavinia Limon, President and chief executive of the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants photo source Friends of Refugees website

“After studying sociology I realized that my passion is to work with people and help them secure a better life,” Limón said. At the start of her career, she began working with refugees from the Vietnam war and then “I went to serve overseas helping people in Thailand, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, among other countries,” she recalled.

During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Limón was director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement where she developed programs that helped people in shelters get jobs so they could fully integrate themselves into American life.

Limón said she has personally experienced having what she knows and is capable of doing underestimated because of stereotypes about Hispanics.

“But what I do is, when people don’t consider me capable of doing certain tasks, I do them anyway and surprise them,” Limón said. “I’ve never argued with anyone who thinks in stereotypes, but what I do is show them they’re wrong,” she said.

Read more: Fox News Latino

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DID OBAMA DECLARE HE WILL PUSH IMMIGRATION THE FIRST YEAR OF HIS NEXT TERM?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Univision interviewed Obama in connection with this weekend’s Summit of the Americas

Topics included democracy promotion, drug trafficking, and race relations.

A protester in Los Angeles, May 1, 2011. photo source Eric Thayer/Getty Images

President Obama says he will push for major immigration legislation if he is re-elected. Obama told Univision he would like to do immigration this year, but Republican opposition is too intense.

“I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term,” Obama said. “I want to try this year,” he added. “The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it.”

 By SAUL LOEB, AFP/Getty Images

Obama supports what he calls a “comprehensive” immigration bill. It involves both tougher border security as well as a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the U.S. Republicans say the emphasis should be on border protection, and liken citizenship plans to amnesty for lawbreakers. In the Univision interview, Obama took a swipe at one of those Republicans, likely election opponent Mitt Romney.

Said Obama: “We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country … these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption.”

President Barack Obama gestures during an interview with Mario “Don Francisco” Kreutzberger for Univision’s Sabado Gigante in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Republican Party spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said Obama “promised to tackle immigration reform in his first year and failed.””From immigration to creating jobs and cutting the deficit, President Obama has failed to follow through on his promises to the American people showing his words are more about winning elections than anything else,” she said.

Read More: USA TODAY

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NIELSEN RATINGS’ DORA NUNEZ RECEIVES MUJERES DESCATADA AWARD FOR ONGOING SUPPORT IN THE LATINO COMMUNITY

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Teresa Samaniego from KABC7, Dora Carias, Dora Nunez Mujeres Descatada 2012 Award Winner, Corina Villaraigosa from the Montebello School District

“My professional and personal objective is to inform, support, and motivate people to progress, to be successful with perseverance and by being loyal to their values and culture. This award pushes me to continue my passion of outreach to multicultural communities.  It serves as a reminder that closing the digital divide remains a top priority.” -Dora Nunez, Public Affairs Manager Nielsen

La Opinión – ImpreMedia 

Dora Nuñez, manager of public affairs for Nielsen, received the Mujeres Destacadas Award in the category of Business and Technology. impreMedia, the leading Hispanic news and information company, continued tradition of honoring remarkable Latinas in its signature editorial series and awards luncheon, Mujeres Destacadas/Exceptional Women. La Opinión, one of impreMedia’s leading publications, created the award in 2007, as part of its goal to recognize and celebrate the diverse accomplishments and contributions of Latinas in Los Angeles and surrounding communities. In celebration of International Women’s History Month, 30 remarkable Southern California Latina women who are making outstanding contributions in the fields of Health, Leadership, Education, Business/Technology and Arts and Culture were honored at a luncheon at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

ImpreMedia is the number one Hispanic news and information company in the U.S. in online and print. Its leading publications include La Opinión in Los Angeles and El Diario and La Prensa in New York. The Chief Executive officer of impreMedia is Mónica Lozano.  She is also the chair of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She is one of the most prominent Latinas in the Nation.

Mujeres Destacadas/Exceptional Women Awards 2012

ImpreMedia honors Latina women in the month of March his national celebration is comprised of their respected brands in 4 local markets to validate these extraordinary women (in New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Chicago). In Los Angeles, La Opiniópresented their Annual Mujeres Destacadas/Exceptional Women’s Awards on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Avenue, LA, CA 90071 in Celebration of the extraordinary women who are making a difference in our communities”

Receiving the award Dora Nunez

Nielsen: Why were they there?

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

With Keynote Speaker - Media mogul Nelly Galan and Dora Nunez

Nielsen continues to focus on building awareness about the company to the Latino community. In the past, Nielsen has participated in the Los Angeles and New York events.  This would be Nielsen’s fifth year participating with La Opinióin Los Angeles.  In previous years Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Mónica Gil was honored in 2010 in the category of Business and Technology and this year Dora Nuñez receiving the same award. The Business/Technology Award is given to women who have played a significant role in the economic development or technological advancement for the Latino community.

Rosemary Portillo (l), public affairs event manager, gives a Homescan and Local People Meter (LPM) demonstrations.

This year approximately 400 people were in attendance and Nielsen was represented on stage by Event Manager Rosemery Portillo who shared some fun fact on Latinos and Latinas.  She also presented the Leadership category.

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ESPN’S HISPANIC AUDIENCE GROWS BY 15% FAR EXCEEDING THEIR NON-LATINO GROWTH

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

On Wednesday, ESPN released its first Spanish language ad. “Esto es SportsCenter,” the ad reads. The translation: “This is SportsCenter.”

The decision to run a Spanish language ad is a reflection of the company’s growing Latino audience, according to The New York Times.

ESPN’s Hispanic audience increased by 15 percent over the past five years, far exceeding their non-Latino audience growth.

While ESPN is looking to reach this Latino audience, an estimated 60 percent of those viewers watch only their English-language programming, while only 20 percent watch only their Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, according to The New York Times report.

But ESPN, who launched their Spanish language network in 2004, is facing competition for the Latino market. Univision will introduce it’s own sports news channel, Univision Deportes, on Saturday.

Growing Latino audiences have also caught the interest of marketers outside of sports networks. And, it’s not just Spanish speakers they’re after.

In recent months, the booming U.S. Latino population has prompted media outlets to expand English-language programming marketed towards Hispanic audiences.

Fox News launched its own English-language Fox News Latino website. Univision, which recently started an English-language Tumblr, is also allegedly in talks with Disney to create an English-language television network. And NBC, which will soon officially launch NBC Latino, also oversees Telemundo’s cable channel Mun2 which features bilingual programming. And lastly, The Huffington Post, launched its English-language LatinoVoices section last August.

As Latino immigrants assimilated and learned English, many marketers presumed they’d fade quickly into mainstream English language media, advertising executive Roberto Orcitold NPR. But to the surprise of many — a bicultural Latino audience interested in consuming English-language content has emerged quickly in the past few years.

“We take the best of American culture that we came to adopt and love,” Roberto Orciold NPR. “And we keep the best of our culture that we value.”
“And so, you have this hybrid American that is very proud and happy to be an American, but is very proud and happy to have his culture which makes him unique, or her unique,” Orci added.

READ MORE: HUFFINGTON POST

WATCH: SportsCenter’s New Spanish Language Ad

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