Goya’s CEO is still peddling false election claims
Robert Unanue reiterated his support for former President Donald Trump in a speech at CPAC.
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Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue has found himself and his company the target of major backlash from the Latino community once again, after his recent pro-Trump comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
In July 2020, Unanue delivered a speech at the White House Rose Garden, praising former President Donald Trump.
“We are truly blessed to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president,” he said.
The CEO of Goya is perpetuating the Big Lie at CPAC. This isn’t free speech, it’s incitement....we almost watched our democracy crumble because of this lie. People died. @Hyatt are you okay with this? pic.twitter.com/8LfoTpaU6G— Daniel Pants (@DanielPantss) February 28, 2021
Founded in 1936 by Spanish immigrants, Goya Foods, Inc. is the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S. and has been a staple in Latino households for generations. But after the speech, many decided to remove Goya products from their grocery lists.
When Unanue spoke at CPAC in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, Feb. 28, he pushed the conspiracy theory that Joe Biden is currently president because of widespread fraud. It also came after the Goya board of directors voted to censure Unanue for making the same comments on Fox Business when Biden was declared the winner of the presidency.
“My biggest honor today is going to be that I think we’re going to be on the same stage as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” he said.
Several Latino groups, including the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute, Mi Familia Vota, LatinoJustice and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, released a joint statement on Monday, March 1, in which they denounced Unanue’s remarks.
The groups emphasized that his false allegations of election fraud are an “affront” to millions of Latino voters who were able to cast their ballots despite voter suppression.
In December, Attorney General William Barr reported that federal authorities have not discovered any evidence of widespread fraud that may have impacted the outcome of the 2020 election.
Yet this “alternative fact” was peddled repeatedly throughout the conference.
The Latino groups also said that his words “dangerously perpetuate falsehoods that were at the core of the criminal assault on the nation’s capital on Jan. 6.”
The false allegations concerning a rigged election led thousands of Trump supporters to storm the Capitol building in a violent attack that led to the death of at least five people, including police officers. Trump was impeached for inciting the attack and was later acquitted in a Senate Trial.
Even so, Unanue continues to support and applaud former President Trump, much to the dismay of Latinos who have been cooking with Goya products for years.
The Latino groups said in their statement that Unanue should not be entitled to the platform that his position in the company provides for him, as he is a threat to democracy and the “belief and faith in free and fair elections.”
When Unanue first made public his support for Trump, Latinx politicians including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former presidential candidate Julián Castro, criticized his comments online, reminding their social media followers of Trump’s many insults towards Mexican immigrants and other Hispanic groups.
“Bob Unanue is praising a president who villainized and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain, Castro wrote on Twitter. “Americans should think twice before buying their products.”
The Goya CEO has doubled down on the election fraud lies at CPAC. Que cabrón tan mentiroso.— Rapunzel (@co_rapunzel4) February 28, 2021
At my house, we cook a lot of Mexican dishes. I will continue to boycott Goya products until Robert Unanue is no longer CEO. Wegman's generic products are better, anyway.
Following Unanue’s comments at CPAC, critics are calling for a Goya boycott once again. #BoycottGoya began trending on Twitter and many users shared photos of alternative products they have been using.
The other groups that joined in on the statement are the following: Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Projectthe Latino Commission on AIDS, Alianza Americas, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Federation, and Presente.org.
“This is not a matter of free speech or respecting political differences, this is about integrity. Will Goya Foods honor its more than century-long relationship with the Hispanic community or will it continue to enable the lies of its CEO? The choice is clear,” their statement read.