By Rafael Bernal
May 03, 2017
President Trump is doing away with the White House Cinco de Mayo celebration, a 16-year-old tradition, Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion reported Wednesday.
Instead of a White House celebration this year, one headlined by Vice President Pence will be held at a to-be-determined location and with a reduced guest list, the report said.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment and has not issued an official announcement of any planned events for the holiday.
Both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama Barack used Cinco de Mayo to connect with the Hispanic community — inviting Cabinet members, Latino celebrities and Mexican Embassy officials to the White House — and to promote immigration reform.
Last year, Obama had 500 guests, food catered by San Antonio celebrity chef Johnny Hernandez and music by Mexican pop band Mana.
Trump, then the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, famously celebrated Cinco de Mayo last year by tweeting a picture of himself with a taco bowl from Trump Grill in New York City, with a caption reading: “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”
Democrats and Latinos bashed Trump’s taco bowl tweet, but then-Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus defended Trump’s efforts at Hispanic outreach.
“Honestly, he’s trying, and I’ll tell you what — I honestly think he understands that building, unifying and growing the party is the only way we are going to win,” Priebus, now Trump’s White House chief of staff, said the day after the tweet.
Cinco de Mayo celebrates the May 5, 1862, Battle of Puebla, in which Mexican forces routed an invading French army. The holiday is observed but not celebrated in Mexico, but it’s taken on a symbolic status for Mexican-Americans and Latinos in the United States.
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