For the First Time in 16 Years, the President Won’t Host a Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Lead Photo: Creative Commons "Dancers at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington, D.C.” by dbking is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Creative Commons "Dancers at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington, D.C.” by dbking is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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On May 5, 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump fired off a tweet for Cinco de Mayo. “The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill,” he wrote. “I love Hispanics!” But in 2017, it appears Trump won’t be breaking taco bowls bread with any Mexicans or Mexicans Americans to commemorate the 1862 Battle of Puebla. According to La Opinión, the annual White House Cinco de Mayo celebration won’t take place this year.

The celebrations began during George W. Bush’s tenure, something that President Barack Obama continued in order to connect with the Latino community, The Hill reports. Not all Mexicans celebrate Puebla’s defeat of the invading French army. But breaking with the 16-year-old tradition is seen as another way for Trump to brush off the Latino community.

“The White House’s decision to cancel the Cinco de Mayo celebration is another slap in the face for many Mexican Americans and Latinos,” Félix Sánchez, president and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, told La Opinión. “Instead of embracing our nation’s multicultural heritage, we are deepening the divisions and not looking for common ground.”

To make matters worse, Trump’s immigration policies have also kept others from celebrating Cinco de Mayo. In Philadelphia – a city with a large immigrant population from Puebla, Mexico – organizers of the yearly Carnaval de Puebla canceled the event in light of the Trump administration’s intent to ramp up deportation efforts. “We are canceling the event because of the situation are currently in,” David Piña, president of San Mateo Carnavalero, told Remezcla in late March. “As an organization responsible for an event in the Mexican community, we want to keep the community away from any type of danger.”

Reportedly, Vice President Mike Pence will host a Cinco de Mayo event on May 4 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is next door to the White House, according to Politico. Basically, Pence is celebrating the made up Arrested Development holiday, Cinco de Cuatro.