Vitality from oppression, or the demise from pressure.
The lesson from history through the discernment of what is now, and the prevention from what was. Though we cannot undo the past, but if the past served as a lesson through history, it will be a reminder of a guideline to stay within the boundary of that which is right.
For the student of history and precisely those in The Americas, the term Cinco de Mayo – Spanish for “Fifth of May,” is recognized as, the fifth of May, which is observed in Mexico and the United States to commemorate the Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
This is true, but without discernment of the past and present, crucial dates of the past and the events surrounding them are merely a festival and a date inscribed to a calendar.
The effect of an oppression or the tribulation experienced by an individual, or a collective; it will determine the vitality from oppression, or the demise from pressure. That is to say, although tribulation is unpleasant to experience, nevertheless, how it is dealt with will produce a vitality of life in those who faced the tribulation, or the demise from pressure from those who fell under the crushing power of the tribulation. As well as those who follow thereafter, without giving heed to the lesson from the past.
Before the event of Cinco de Mayo, is the account of Napoleon – the French general and military leader who became an emperor. In his quest of power and control through his military brilliancy, about 1807, Napoleon invaded Spain. This is important because from the country of Spain, or the Iberian Peninsula, would come forth 20 countries with Spanish as its official language. Spanning from Africa to Europe and The Americas.
Before all this, as aforementioned in 1807, Napoleon invaded Spain, which led to the Madrid revolt. Man’s effort to restore what was lost, for their lack of discernment and God’s given duty. When the Church ceases to infuse the nation as the beacon of that which is right, sin will become a reproach to any people. This is the Curses for Disobedience, as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 28. The stranger that is within thee (the Land) shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. This was seen with the invasion of Napoleon and his attempt to oppose any opposition. Consequently, he brought in the Muslim Mameluke to subdue the Spaniards in their own land. With the sword, the Spanish resistance was crushed.
The verse from Deuteronomy became more clearer when the brother of Napoleon, named, Joseph Bonaparte was made king of Spain. The stranger that is within (the Land) shall get up above thee very high.
This was before Christianity was an offense, as it is in modern times. Nevertheless, God’s people didn’t call upon Him, as He has given His promise to us.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Spanish America fights toward independence
Instead, in 1810, Spanish America began to declare their independence from Spain, which was now controlled by the outsiders, the French.
One may argue, in favor of the Declaration of Independence from tyranny. Wasn’t the United States birth as the greatest nation from its Independence from the British? Certainly, it was. However, the ongoing existence of the United States as a world power, is not predicated upon its leader, rather, its Constitution. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which acknowledged God, men and then Government.
Thus, a portion of it reads
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, (the people) that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Note, the government was never meant to rule over the people, instead the government should work alongside with the people. It is God who rules above all, for in His sight we are all equal. The existence of the people must be in line with the right which God has given to them. They should live, as it is recorded in Genesis 9:7. Be fruitful, and multiply, unlike the extinction of the future generation by aborting them before they are born.
Government is instituted among men, not above men. If these are the basics of a society, it shall prosper and not withered away. So it was in the beginning with the Spanish America, under the command and leadership of Simon Bolivar. A Constitution was written which was similar to the United States Constitution. However, all fell apart when Simon Bolivar, rose above the people, setting himself up as president for life.
The effect of this was felt all through The Americas. The desire to do good, by leaving the right path, doesn’t justify the wrong. So it was in Mexico, when priest Miguel Hidalgo gives his famous speech, The Cry of Dolores. The call for the people to revolt against the control of Napoleon in Spain and its elites.
The argument of the justification of this revolt in Mexico is, it led to the independence of the nation. Indeed, but so was the demise of many. Including Hidalgo, who was executed and the defeat of almost 100,000 of average Mexicans and struggling farmers who joined with the priest in the Battle of Calderon Bridge, there they were defeated.
Though the dawn of peace was seen in Mexico in 1821, Agustín de Iturbide became Emperor of Mexico. However, for about three decades the country struggled through numerous governments. Unlike their neighbor to the North, the United States, which enjoyed Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness through its Constitution and the equal balance of power and governing by terms.
When God is not the focus of a society, men elevate themselves above other men.
Like Santa Anna, he told the Americans, my people (the Mexican) are only fit to be ruled by despotism - A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator, thereby dominance through threat of punishment.
Consequently, Santa Anna puts away the law of the people of Mexico and made himself a despotic dictator. The histories of such and the likes, are rampant all through history. When the Church fails to serve its role as a beacon of hope through God, to the nation and as a moral compass. In such case when the people of God no longer stand for righteousness, they removed themselves from the providence of God. The world shall become the judge of the Church. Through persecution and oppression, men shall rise to power, by the expense of others.
As Mexico drew closer to what is now celebrated as Cinco de Mayo, the conflicts and struggle continue between the people and governments. Even the outside forces of Europe through the French army were felt in Mexico.
Under the rule of Benito Juárez of Mexico, the French army landed in Mexico in 1862.
During the month of May of that year, the French Army suffered a setback during the Battle of Puebla. This we know today as Cinco de Mayo. It was a victory for the Mexican, but not the end of bloodshed and wars. Even unto 1913 the struggle continues, the year of another assassination. The assassination of Francisco Madero of Mexico.
All through this, to the north of Mexico, the Americans experience less of the bloodshed and wars than that of their southern neighbor. The relationship of the two nations is unique, opposing at times, but closely bonds. The American played a major role, with help in the removal of the outside forces of Europe from Mexico. There are few nations on earth that two can observe and celebrate a day together, like the United States and Mexico. The Remembrance of Cinco de Mayo, the event of this day, and the preceding history and the latter are not of a rosy delight. It is that of pain, hurt, war and death. Yet it is remembered.
The lesson from history through this event and the others, should serve as a discernment and warning to the world, precisely to Mexico and the United states. Through those things we observe on the daily news today.
The lesson of history and the warning for the present.
To the Mexicans, Cinco de Mayo served as a reminder of the will of the people, to unite and overcome any threat from within or from without. Nevertheless, when government erects itself as god to provide all the needs of the people. As an elite class of its own, but ignores the will of the people. Then division is near, and the defense of the nation will be a flaw from outside forces. History cannot repeat itself in an exact scenario, but the scenarios of the past are accustomed to happening in the present when the people of the present forget the past.
To the Americans, Cinco de Mayo is observed alongside with the Mexicans, although it was a time of inequality, wars and bloodshed and destruction. Yet, we remembered and observed this date. However, there are rising voices in the United States today, with a goal of abolishing and wiping out all American history, if it wasn’t a happy history. Consequently, there are uproars for the removal of the representation of American history like that of the Statues representing the American civil war. Statues of Generals who fought in the war, like that of General Robert E Lee, and others who fought for states that supported slavery. This goes further, the same voices are even calling for the purging of the founding fathers of the United States. They were white, they say, and white men supported slavery, so all accounts of them must be wiped out.
If we as a nation are so civilized that we must blot out all the inconvenience inequality of history. What shall be the reminder to the future generation, for the result of inequality and the fallouts of men usurping other men? There will be no reminder, and eventually history will repeat itself, worse than it was in the past.
In closing, may the words of the 13 President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, be a discernment to us all.
“Our grateful thanks are due to an all-merciful Providence . . . We owe these blessings, under Heaven, to the happy Constitution and Government which were bequeathed (left) to us by our fathers, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit in all their integrity to our children."
We do not erase history, we learn from the mistakes, so that the history of the past will ever serve as a reminder of the present, less we also fail in doing that which is right.