Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Picture Courtesy of the Miniondas Newspaper

Santa Ana dentist Dr. Art Lomeli was one of several downtown Santa Ana merchants who met with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and Santa Ana City Manager Dave Ream to plan this year’s Cinco de Mayo festivities, according to the Miniondas newspaper.

This had to be an awkward experience for Lomeli, who is actively campaigning to oust Pulido and replace him with local attorney Alfredo Amezcua.  Another merchant who was at the meeting, Sam Romero, is also part of Amezcua’s “SACrED” organization.

This year’s Santa Ana Cinco de Mayo festivities will start on Saturday, May 1, and continue on May 2.

So why is Cinco de Mayo important both to Mexicans and to Americans?  Here is a great summation of the history of Cinco de Mayo:

From Viva Cinco de Mayo

The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810. And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were told and forced to leave Mexico.

So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.

The French had landed in Mexico (along with Spanish and English troops) five months earlier on the pretext of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President (and Indian) Benito Juarez. The English and Spanish quickly made deals and left. The French, however, had different ideas.

Under Emperor Napoleon III, who detested the United States, the French came to stay. They brought a Hapsburg prince with them to rule the new Mexican empire. His name was Maximilian; his wife, Carolota. Napoleon’s French Army had not been defeated in 50 years, and it invaded Mexico with the finest modern equipment and with a newly reconstituted Foreign Legion. The French were not afraid of anyone, especially since the United States was embroiled in its own Civil War.

The French Army left the port of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west, as the French assumed that the Mexicans would give up should their capital fall to the enemy — as European countries traditionally did.

Under the command of Texas-born General Zaragosa, (and the cavalry under the command of Colonel Porfirio Diaz, later to be Mexico’s president and dictator), the Mexicans awaited. Brightly dressed French Dragoons led the enemy columns. The Mexican Army was less stylish.

The Victory of Cinco de Mayo. In this painting, as the defeated French troops stream back from their failed assault, Mexican cavalry with lances pick off the stragglers. French troops of the elite 2nd Zouave Regiment, with their distinctive baggy red trousers, are in the foreground. The white gaiters or “spats” over their shoes are those that General Count de Lorencez ordered them to freshly whiten in order to impress the Mexicans in what he hoped would be his triumphal entry into Puebla. Meanwhile other French infantry, wearing white trousers, blue coats and fezzes, can be seen fleeing in the background.

General Zaragosa ordered Colonel Diaz to take his cavalry, the best in the world, out to the French flanks. In response, the French did a most stupid thing; they sent their cavalry off to chase Diaz and his men, who proceeded to butcher them. The remaining French infantrymen charged the Mexican defenders through sloppy mud from a thunderstorm and through hundreds of head of stampeding cattle stirred up by Indians armed only with machetes.

When the battle was over, many French were killed or wounded and their cavalry was being chased by Diaz’ superb horsemen miles away. The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.

Union forces were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French. American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French. The American Legion of Honor marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico, City.

It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862. But who knows?

In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America.

Mexicans, you see, never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans. That’s why Cinco de Mayo is such a party — A party that celebrates freedom and liberty. There are two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862. VIVA! el CINCO DE MAYO!!

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

20 thoughts on “Mayor Miguel Pulido meets with downtown merchants to plan Cinco de Mayo event”
  1. Love this- Who wrote this–lets send it out to nationwide-
    AP wire on April 31st.
    Put your name to it and send it out.

    Edit and remove the Santa Ana mtg part of it- and beef it up with minor additions-

    It should send some haters through a tongue swallowing fest

    1. I thought the same thing! I have never seen the history of Cinco de Mayo presented in this manner before. It is sure to make the haters even crankier!

  2. The history about the CInco de Mayo is very well edit. In regards of the picture Dr. Lomeli and the Mayor, is just the ordinary politic they are going to be friend no matter what happen after the elections.
    Friday night I had dinner at the West-side on 4th St. and the owner of the restaurants they dont know of any event ” Cinco de Mayo”, all this people are merchants, properties owners .On the east-side I contact few other and they dont event agree on street closure , they dont even get information on any event until the day before that they.get notice of “street closure” THIS ONLY HAPPEN IN SANTA ANA. ” all this people are GABACHOS” If I recall few years ago, the 4TH STREET MERCHANTS WANTS TO BE INCLUSIVE, NO EX-CLUSIVE.
    I will like to see a comment from Mr. Arellano he will be honest in his point of view.
    This picture should be safe for the Great Santa Ana History Book.

  3. Que pendejado es esto! La batalla ya se termino. Hira,bolla de delinquentes ponganse a trabajar y dejen de vivir en el pasado. Aparte de eso las foto esta my bien pintado. Donde me consigo un replica antes que se la roban.

  4. With all my respect Mr. Pulido, your meeting with the Downtown Merchants …………… will you tell me what group is this? I know at least twenty merchants and all of them claim ” we don’t wants any representation” Mr. Pulido is welcome to stop by our stores and ask us what we wants?

  5. Mr. Julio Ordaz,

    The event was a pre Cinco de Mayo celebration organized by the promoters. Mayor Pulido was their guest of honor.

    Some downtown merchants were invited. We were not there representing merchants and property owners in any manner.

    The body that officially represents the property owners is Downtown Inc.

    1. Dr. Lomeli,

      Thanks for the clarification. As I understand it, an award of some type was also presented to one of the businessmen.

      Question – why is it that Downtown Inc has no website? It is hard to believe that an organization with the mission of marketing Downtown Santa Ana does such a poor job of marketing itself. Perhaps I am wrong, but I have not been able to find their website online.

  6. They are from what I understand working on developing a web site.

    Contact For more information:

    Vicky Baxter
    Executive Director
    Downtown Incorporated
    305 E 4th St. Suite 200,
    Santa Ana, CA 92701
    Phone: 714-547-6100
    Fax: 714-547-6102

  7. Thank you Dr. Lomeli, seen to me you are very involved with this events, the merchants are very un-happy, how things are handle in the downtown.
    on your reply it’s read “some merchants were invited”
    who are they? Are they the head of Downtown?
    Properties owner are about 30 in the downtown area and merchants on 4th street aproximately 120
    Why are they been excluded of all this meeting ?
    I wish all this merchants “Good Luck” .They all express concern about street closure.

  8. Julio Ordaz,

    I understand your point. Those of us that attended feel as you do. Unity is the only solution for action. The strategy is to disorganize we need to counter with organization. Downtown Inc. is not listening to the property owners and merchants.

    Give a call (714) 973-8797 so we can organize those you know with those I know.

  9. Dr. Lomeli, you are well known in the downtown area, why dont’t you organized a good group and send the Downtown Inc back were they came from.
    I’m a merchant and understand Mr. Ordaz point of view, he must be new on 4th street and start feeling the frustration in this area. ” welcome to the club”
    I just view the blog intereting that you been attack for expressing your opinion.
    I wish we have more people like you, I only know one gentlement on the westside and a Lady on the east side, that stand for their believed in favor of the merchants and both are been left out for expressing their views, both are properties owners.
    To all fellow merchants, welcome to the new downtowncare.

    1. gabacha,

      Aren’t you all paying a tax to fund this Downtown Inc.? Do you feel you are getting your money’s worth?

  10. Dr. Lomeli, reading this blog is very interesting the ‘ dime y diretes”….
    once a week I enjoy doing this, I just have an idea VeLAZQUEZ Promotions, which is located in the SOUTH MAin area, should star promoting SOUTH MAIN, with all the events they wants, and let the city deal with the closure of Main Street and leave the 4th street merchants do their own.
    Reader please excuse my Metiche ideas.

  11. YES………….YES……….. the properties owner but they pass this charge to the merchants. THIS IS NOT GOOD…………. they spend money like creazy..and we dont see any improvement
    They suppose to do BETTER job than SABA AND CALLE CUATRO.
    Before we were able to express our concern without getting to different ocations the management call the merchants ..” your bussines suck ” what about this?
    This will be a good subject for discution…..

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