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When Mexico invaded Europe

5 March 2013

Via the Mexican History/Historia Mexicana facebook page, I learned about the otherwise forgotten Mexican conquest of… Yugoslavia.

Apologies for using a stock photo...for some reason the Tito monument isn't a much photographed as the one to Winston Churchill.  Funny that.

Apologies for using a stock photo…for some reason the Tito monument isn’t a much photographed as the one to Winston Churchill. Funny that.

With Marshall Tito having broken with the Soviets in 1948, and pro-Soviet Yugoslavs (and suspected Soviet sympathizers were roughly rounded up), all things Russian were looked at askance in the multi-Slavic People’s Republic.  With the “Cold War” raging, citizens in  Communist countries were stupidly punished by restrictions on cultural exports.  All was not lost… the OTHER major revolutionary state of the 20th century  stood ready to fill the gap.  And  the fractious Serbs, Croats, Slovines, Macedonians, Bosnians and Herzogovninans were, for a time, united through mariachi and Emilio Fernandez films:

Emilio Fernández’s Un Día de vida (1950) became so immensely popular that the old people in the former republics of Yugoslavia even today regard it as surely one of the most well known films in the world ever made although in truth it is probably unknown in every other country, even Mexican web pages don’t mention it much..

When Tito  died in 1980 the dream of a united Slavic republic died with him.  But  although he failed to turn his union of fractured ethnic enclaves into a modern state, it was an honorable effort, that is remembered not only with the monument to Tito in Chapultepec Park but in the wonderful recordings of Serbo-Croatian mariachi.

(More at Yu-Mex: Yugoslav Mexican music of the fifties

One Comment leave one →
  1. 27 May 2013 12:32 pm

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