In Puebla state, site of the famous battle of Puebla where the Mexican army defeated the French army on the 5th of May 1862 giving place to the famous "Cinco de Mayo" celebrations, there is a plaque in the cultural center. France had invaded Mexico after President Juarez had declared a moratorium on foreign debt payments and the exiled author of Le Miserables was outraged at his country's actions. The letter is written to the people of Puebla and it reads:
People of Puebla You are right in believing that I am with you It is not France making war on you. It is the empire. I am with you. You and I battle the empire. You in your homeland. I in exile. Fight on, battle and be terrible, and if you think that my name can somewhat help you, use it. Aim at that man's head with the bullets of freedom. Brave men of Mexico. Resist. The Republic is with you and waves over your heads the flag of France with its rainbow and the American flag with its stars. Await. Your heroic resistance is supported by the law and in your favor is the certainty of justice. The attempt on the Mexican Republic carries the attempt on the French Republic. One ambush completes the other. The empire will fail on its infamous intention, that I believe. And you will win. But either way wether you win or be defeated, France will continue to be your sister, sister in your glory or your misery. And I whose name you call will tell you again that I am with you. If you shall win I offer you my fraternity as a citizen. If you shall be defeated I offer you my fraternity as an outlaw.