University Sin Fronteras invites you…te invita:
Share the knowledge…circular discussion seminar/círculo de discusión.
When: Thursday/jueves 23 feb/febrero 2012
Place: 212 Alamosa Ave. San Antonio, TX, 78210
Time: 6:30 PM promptly; ends at 8:30 PM
Bring munchies or drinks… or both!
Ruben Solis Garcia-facilitator
Phone: (210) 378 5699
Juan N. “Cheno” Cortina
Republican Patriot, Hero and Revolutionary General and Anti imperialist! 1824-1884.
By RubenSolisGarcia. Oct. 2011
Tribute to 127 years since his death
Was Cheno (Juan N) Cortina an anti-imperialist Hero and national patriot?
To answer this question we must ‘resurrect’ Cheno Cortina and the Cortina Revolution in South Texas and northern Mexico, and to correct the way historians have portrayed him and his revolution. Cortina and his army have been labelled as border bandits by most historians while a more progressive group labels him as a social bandit. But none dare call him by his real identity, a revolutionary liberal republican. Cortina believed and defended with his life and at risk for all of his extended familia and ranchos, livestock, everything for the patria; the Republic of Mexico liberal and secular constitution of 1857 and the revolutionary principals of nation building and sovereignty. To Cortina the sovereignty of the (republic) nation was sacred and had to be defended with honor, valor and sacrifice, something he proved over and over again in his whole life trajectory and actions.
Cortina fought the Republic of Texas in 1836 to protect his lands, he did not recognize the Slave Texas Republic because he was against slavery, and he experienced how the gringos in the Austin colony wanted to take over Tejano-Mexicano lands. Cortina recognized the Texas-Mexico border at the Nueces River and not the Rio Grande River as falsely claimed by the Slave Republic of Texas. The Nueces strip as it has become known in history became the contested lands and in 1845 when the US annexed Texas, the US military immediately invaded the Nueces Strip in hopes of sparking a conflict and possible war with Mexico. The War against Mexico by the United States started in the battle of Palo Alto near present day Brownsville, homelands of Cheno Cortina. He enlisted and fought in the Mexican Army as Calvary and he defended the nation from the imperialist expansion of the northern neighbor.
Cortina’s anger with the new system of the Texas Republic and later the United States, grew as he witnessed the land grab, violence and numerous injustices against the Tejano-Mexicano population with the gringo Justice system doing nothing; crimes with impunity. He grew tired of the gross injustice and fought back ‘Defending the Mexican name in Texas’ (Jerry Thompson’s book).
Cortina organized an army ‘Los Aguilas Negras’, and fought a protracted guerrilla armed struggle and revolution against the Slave Republic of Texas; against the United States federal troops, the Texas Rangers, the Civil Militias, and the Mexican Army beginning in 1859. It was then he took over Brownsville, Texas and issued his first revolutionary proclamation. He fought until his imprisonment by Dictator Porfirio Diaz in 1877, (in exchange for US recognition of his Presidency). Cortina died on October 30, 1884 in Mexico City still under house arrest and unable to return to the lands he loved a defended on the border.
With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed in 1848, the Rio Grande River became the new border dividing Mexico and Texas. Many families on the river ended divided by the border with family relatives and lands holding on either side of the rio grande river. Cortina while in Mexico defended President Benito Juarez against the Bonaparte French invasion of Mexico and the forceful installation of Maximiliano and Carlotta as new emperors of Mexico. Juarez was driven into exile in El Paso and CD Juarez. Cortino fought against the French in the famous battle of Pueblo on the Cinco de Mayo, defeating the French invaders momentarily. Cortina was an avowed Republican and hated the monarchy. By the end of the war of reform and then against the French imperialists, Cortina rose to military general and later governor of Tamaulipas. Juan Cheno Cortina fought the Confederate States of the South, during the Civil war and from Mexico’s border attacked confederate forces occupying Texas. His attacks on the port of Matamoros were strategic in making it more difficult for the Confederacy to export its cotton through that port, since most ports in the south were blockaded by the federal navy. King cotton was financing the war against the north by the confederate south.
After the Civil war ended Cortina again was attacking the Texas Rangers and the local militias and ranchers who constituted the ‘establishment, stealing cattle and horses and extracting revolutionary justice against his enemies and the enemies of Tejano-Mexicanos. Cortina explained to a Mexican Border Commission that he was merely getting back what was originally stolen from the Tejano-Mexicano ranchers by the corrupt and thieving Gringos and Tejano-Mexicano reactionaries. When porforio Diaz violated the no-re-election clause of the constitution of 1857, Cortina rose up against Diaz and allied with Juarez. Diaz held power from 1876 until 1910 when the Madero and Partido Liberal Mexicano (Magonistas) overthrew his rule and forced him to flee Mexico.
Cortina before his death met with Catarino E Garza who came from Brownsville to visit him in Mexico DF and to consult with him in the plans to over throw Diaz by force. It is believed that this meeting took place and Cortina gave Garza all of his support network in South Texas and Northern Mexico in order to enable the republican revolution to continue now under Garza’s revolution and reinstitute the 1857 constitution and make the nation whole again. The Garza revolution went from 1888 until 1898 and with some isolated revolts until 1901.
- Cortina fought the Texas Slave Republic
- Cortina fought the racism, terror and savagery of the Texas Rangers
- Cortina fought the US military invasion of Mexico and defended Mexico in the War of 1846-48
- Cortina fought for the Liberal republican Mexican constitution of 1857
- Cortina fought the French imperialist invasion and occupation of Mexico and monarchy
- Cortina fought slavery and the Confederacy during the US Civil War
- Cortina’s army included African Americans, Japanese, and Indians, and the poor
- Cortina fought for justice his whole life
- Cortina never surrendered nor was ever defeated even when he lost battles
Juan N Cheno Cortina was a general, and a anti slavery, anti racist, anti imperialist, republican liberal and avenger of the injustices against Tejano-Mexicanos by gringo expansionists, racists, and capitalist adventurers in Texas and northern Mexico.