"In Mexico today, Cinco de Mayo means the Mexican army defeated the French army," he continued. "In California and Oregon, the news was interpreted as finally that the army of freedom and democracy won a big one against the army of slavery and elitism. And the fact that those two armies had to meet in Mexico was immaterial because they were fighting for the same issues -- defending freedom and democracy. Latinos were joining the Union army, Union cavalry, Union navy.
"The French goal was to eliminate democracy, and remember that Mexico had democracy only for 30 or 40 years at that point," he added. "Remember, Europe was ruled mostly by monarchs."
French emperor Napoleon III "was no friend of the Union and was definitely a friend of the Confederacy and flirted with the Confederacy constantly with the possible recognition of the Confederate government," Hayes-Bautista said. President Abraham Lincoln never referred to the Confederacy as a separate government: they were states in rebellion," the professor said.
Napoleon III's plan was to instill a monarchy over Mexico and "have that monarch cooperate with the Confederacy," Hayes-Bautista said.