From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'Cinco de Mayo a Celebration of Rich Cultural Heritage of Mexican Americans'

May 5, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today joined millions of Americans in celebrating Cinco de Mayo. This day marks the historic triumph of the Mexican people over the French Army in the battle of Puebla in 1862. Pelosi released the following statement:

"On May 5, 1862, untrained, outnumbered, and outgunned Mexican forces determined to protect their land successfully defended the town of Puebla against the French.

"In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo represents freedom and self-determination for the people of Mexico, and it is a symbol of Mexican unity, patriotism and pride.

"In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is also a celebration of the rich cultural heritage Mexican Americans have brought to this country and the contributions of all Hispanics in the United States. Hispanics share with all Americans the goals of freedom, opportunity, and a chance to build a better life. In pursuing these aspirations, Hispanics have made great contributions in science, the arts, politics, business, and the struggle for social justice. Today’s anniversary reminds us that all peoples -- regardless of their race or color -- deserve freedom and self-determination and that all cultures are worthy of respect.

"Since our last Cinco de Mayo celebration, Democrats have taken strong steps on the issues Latino families care about. In July, we presented our Democratic Hispanic Agenda -- Compromiso Demócrata con el Pueblo Latino -- which addresses the economy, education, health care, civil rights and immigration, and relations between the U.S. and Latin America. In October, Democrats introduced the Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act to eliminate minority health disparities and ensure that everyone has equal access to the best healthcare services. Yesterday, Democrats introduced the Safe, Orderly, and Legal Visas and Enforcement Act, the SOLVE Act, to pursue real immigration reform that reunites families, provides economic opportunity for all, and enhances our security.

"Together, we can give everyone in this nation -- whether they have been here for generations or just arrived to our shores -- the opportunity to realize the American dream.

"Today, as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we say gracias to Hispanics for making our economy stronger and our culture more vibrant, and recommit ourselves to building a better future for all Americans."




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