Dateline: 28 December 2020, Mexico City
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (commonly known as AMLO) and Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes, former leader of the Social Encounter Party, a fundamentalist Christian party that merged with the president's Morena Party. announced in a joint press conference today that one of Mexico's historical rifts has been resolved. Mexico will now celebrate its independence with a new holiday.
Last February, AMLO announced that he was concerned that three of Mexico's most important holidays (Constitution day, Benito Juarez's birthday, and Revolution day) were not celebrated on the actual anniversary day of each event, but on the closest Monday. That had been true since 2006 because the government wanted to provide citizens with a three-day vacation to celebrate each day. (strike three)
The president had initially planned to send a proposal to Congress after the school year ended and he had had an opportunity to discuss the impact of the proposed change with educators. That did not happen because of the viral pandemic.
"Even though that proposal is still under discussion," said AMLO, "we have not been sitting idly where other Mexican historical issues are concerned. One example is the day on which we celebrate our independence from Spain.
"There have been two contenders. The officially-recognized date of 16 September 1810, the day that Miguel Hidalgo issued his storied el grito. Or 27 September 1821, when General Agustin de Iturbide entered Mexico City ending the war -- the day favored by some reactionaries.
"Even though the reactionaries lost the argument long ago, it is time we all came together to honor the fact that the ending could not have occurred without the start, and the start would have no meaning without the ending.
"So, my good friend Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes and I stand here today symbolically representing two viewpoints now united. Starting in 2021, Mexico will celebrate its independence starting on 16 September and ending on 27 September. It will be known as the twelve days of indepence."
Señor Flores Cervantes added: "We are simply following Jesus's teaching. In Mark 3:25, he tells us: 'If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.' And what better way for our nation to celebrate its founding and independence than with twelve days of feasting?"
When asked if the twelve days of independence were consistent with his policy of attempting to revive Mexico's economy, ALMO replied: "When I announced my intention to move the three holidays to their true dates, I said: 'I know that it will create controversy, but those who don’t know where they come from don’t know where they’re going.' I say the same thing again."
As they were leaving the conference, Flores Cervantes was overheard to say: "Do you ever feel that some of these announcements sound more like dreams?
They do, don't they?
* -- Before you start marking your calendar for the twelve days of independence, you may want to look at the calendar for today's date.