Sí se puede

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"Sí Se Puede" sign at a Venezuelan sit-in
Tenerife demonstrators carrying "Sí se puede" signs

"Sí, se puede" (Spanish for "Yes, it is possible" or, roughly, "Yes, we can";[1] pronounced [ˈsi se ˈpwe.ðe]) is the motto of the United Farm Workers of America, and has since been taken up by other activist groups. In 1972, during César Chávez's 25-day fast in Phoenix, Arizona, UFW's co-founder, Dolores Huerta, came up with the slogan.[1][2][3] "Sí se puede" has long been a UFW guiding principle that has served to inspire accomplishment of goals. The phrase is a federally registered trademark of the UFW.

The phrase has been widely adopted by other labor unions and civil rights organizations and drew widespread political and media attention as a rallying cry during the U.S. immigration reform protests.[4][5]

English translation[edit]

"Sí se puede" is usually translated in English as "It can be done", or "Yes you can". The more literal translation that the United Farm Workers uses is "Yes, it can be done!"[6][7]

Other uses[edit]

Use of the slogan by the Obama campaign in Austin, Texas. Translated, it reads, "Yes it is possible, Texas!"

President Barack Obama adopted the English version "Yes, we can!" first during the Democratic Party of Illinois primaries leading up to 2004 Illinois elections to the US Senate,[8] and it became a slogan of his 2008 presidential campaign. "Yes, we can!" was the theme of Senator Obama's speech following his second-place finish in the 2008 New Hampshire primary.[9] The phrase was also used in the song "Yes We Can", which was performed by numerous celebrities in support of Obama.[10] (Huerta endorsed Hillary Clinton in her campaign for the Democratic nomination for presidency in 2007).[11]

"Sí, se puede!" is the name of the 6th Episode in the 3rd Season of Showtime's TV Series ″Dexter″.

"Sí, se puede!" was a slogan used by Spanish left wing anti-austerity party, Unidas Podemos in the buildup to the 2019 Spanish general election held on 28 April 2019.

"Sí, se puede!" "yes we can" became the slogan and rallying cry of Juan Guaidó during the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis. Guaidó was compared to Obama for the use of this phrase and in other ways at the time.[12]

During the Israeli legislative election campaign of 2009, Shas used a Hebrew language version of the slogan: "כן. אנחנו יכולים" (ken, anakhnu yekholim).[13]

The slogan is referenced in the 2023 film Barbie.[14]

AeroMexico's trademark application[edit]

After AeroMexico, a Mexican airline, had filed a trademark application for "Sí se puede" with the US Trademark Office, lawyers for the United Farm Workers defended the phrase as the intellectual property of the UFW. After litigation, AeroMexico agreed not to use the phrase and abandoned its trademark application.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Arturo S. Rodriguez (1998-03-31). "Statement from Arturo S. Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers of America, Celebrating Cesar Chavez's Birthday 3/31/98-La Paz, Keene, Calif". Press Releases. United Farm Workers. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  2. ^ "Sí Se Puede". Makers. Archived from the original on March 25, 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  3. ^ Jocelyn Sherman (October 17, 2021). "History of Si Se Puede". United Farm Workers. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  4. ^ (CBS/AP) (April 11, 2006). ""¡Si, Se Puede!" Say Immigrants Rallies In Dozens Of Cities Compared By Some To Civil Rights Campaigns". CBS NEWS / The Associated Press. CBS Broadcasting Inc. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  5. ^ "The earth is shaking as immigrants rise up around the country with their voices singing "Sí se puede"—Yes, we can. This uprising is in the best tradition of the American Dream and the civil rights struggle for freedom." Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. (August 13, 2006). ""Sí Se Puede" Means "We Shall Overcome"". Motion Magazine.
  6. ^ LeRoy Chatfield; et al. (UFW volunteers). "UFW GLOSSARY Farmworker Movement Terminology". Farmworker Movement Documentation Project. Si Se Puede Press. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  7. ^ Gerald Erichsen (April 11, 2006). "Does 'Sí, se puede' mean 'Yes, we can'?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  8. ^ Elizabeth Brackett (July 27, 2004). "Rising Star". PBS. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
  9. ^ La Ganga, Maria L. (January 9, 2008). "Obama has new rallying cry: Yes, we can!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  10. ^ Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video on YouTube
  11. ^ "Press Release - Human Rights Leader Dolores Huerta Endorses Clinton". ucsb.edu. The American Presidency Project. May 18, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  12. ^ Phillips, Tom (18 January 2019). "Bolsonaro pressures Venezuelan leader with vow to 're-establish democracy'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  13. ^ Eli Yishai (December 15, 2008). "Shas Facebook page". facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  14. ^ "The "Si, Se Puede" Line In 'Barbie' Is A 'Gotta Kick It Up' Callback". www.hercampus.com. 2023-07-21. Retrieved 2023-07-23.

External links[edit]