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Theodore Roosevelt, who had fought in the Spanish-American War and had some sympathies with the independence movement, succeeded McKinley as President of the United States in 1901 and abandoned the 20-year treaty proposal. Instead, the Republic of Cuba gained formal independence on 20 May 1902, with the independence leader Tomas Estrada Palma becoming the country's first president. Under the new Cuban constitution, however, the U.S. retained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs and to supervise its finances and foreign relations. Under the Platt Amendment, Cuba also agreed to lease to the U.S. the naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Cuba today does not celebrate May 20 as their date of independence, but instead October 10, as the first declaration of independence, May 1 international (but not US) labor day, and also July 26, the date of Castro's first attack on Moncada Barracks.
In 1906, following disputed elections, an armed revolt led by Independence War Veterans broke out and that defeated the meager government forces loyal to Estrada Palma and the U.S. exercised its right of intervention.The country was placed under U.S. occupation and a U.S. governor, Charles Edward Magoon, took charge for three years. Magoon's governorship in Cuba was viewed in a negative light by many Cuban historians for years thereafter, believing that much political corruption was introduced during Magoon's years as governor.In 1908, self-government was restored when Jose Miguel Gomez was elected President, but the U.S. retained its supervision of Cuban affairs.
Cinco de Mayo ("5th of May" in English) is primarily a regional and not an obligatory federal holiday in Mexico.The date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.
A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day; Mexico's Independence Day is actually September 16 ( dieciseis de Septiembre in Spanish), which is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
The holiday commemorates an initial victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 .However, this Mexican victory at Puebla only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico. The French occupying forces placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico. The French were eventually defeated and expelled in 1867. Maximilian was executed by President Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.
According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, the modern American focus on that day first started in California in the 1860s in response to the resistance to French rule in MexicoThe paper notes that "The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico.
The holiday of Cinco de Mayo is primarily a regional holiday in Mexico, celebrated in the state of Puebla. There is some limited recognition of the holiday in other parts of the country. For the most part the celebrations combine food, music and dancing.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry, respectively. Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin.
Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, such as Cesar Chavez.To celebrate, many display Cinco de Mayo banners while school districts hold special events to educate pupils about its historical significance. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Examples include ballet folklorico and mariachi demonstrations held annually at the Plaza del Pueblo de Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on beverages, foods, and music.