Robert Unanue, owner of Goya, a company dedicated primarily to condiments, dressings, and packaged foods, received criticism, and calls to boycott his company after he praised President Trump’s economic policies during an event at the White House.
On Thursday, July 9, the White House’s Rose Garden hosted the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative event where President Trump signed an executive order to use more taxpayers funds to support private and charter schools and “improve access to economic and educational opportunities for Hispanic Americans,” according to Fox News.
At the event, the president invited several leaders of the Latino community in the United States where Robert Unanue expressed the following, “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder. That’s what my grandfather did, he came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper. And so we have an incredible builder and we pray for our leadership, our president, and our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”
Goya said he would donate $2 million of his company’s food products to food banks to help those most affected by the pandemic crisis.
Almost immediately, celebrities and politicians launched a boycott campaign with the hashtag #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway on Twitter.
Rep. Alexandeia Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a socialist said, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo”
Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo” https://t.co/YOScAcyAnC
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2020
United We Dream, an organization for young immigrants even created a petition asking people to stop buying Goya products, saying they would not support those “who endorse and comply with a White Supremacist regime.”
The organization issued a statement saying, “We all know that Trump has not stopped attacks on immigrants, Latinx folks, black people, and all people of color, since day 1. We must show CEO of Goya Foods Robert Unanue that we won’t stand for this! If Goya wants our business, they must respect and fight for our humanity!”
Statistically, President Trump’s policies have greatly benefited Latinos and the black community. There have been very low percentages of unemployment in these communities since the current president took office and some polls give up to 40% of the Latino vote to President Donald Trump in his race for re-election on Nov. 3.
Unanue stands firm
In an interview with Fox News the next day, Unanue said that this was a “suppression of speech” and that the call for boycott “is a reflection of a division that exists in our country today” and is “killing our nation.”
“We choose to love and to build and that’s what we’ve been doing, looking for prosperity. We are with the president. We are with this country—right, left, center, down and up,” Unanue stated.
The Goya CEO said he has participated in similar meetings with the previous Obama administration for which he had no negative repercussions.