Goya products have had a monopoly on Latino kitchens for decades, but those days might be coming to an end—and for good reason. On Thursday, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue kicked off a mass Goya break-up everywhere by making a baffing appearance alongside Donald Trump and applauding his “leadership” at the White House.
Unanue spoke as part of an event designed around the “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative,” an executive order Trump signed to supposedly “improve Hispanic Americans’ access to educational and economic opportunities.” Unanue piled on the praise for Trump while announcing that Goya will be donating 1 million cans of chickpeas and 1 million pounds of food to food banks.
“We are all truly blessed… to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” Unanue said during his remarks. “We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”
His comments sparked the #Goyaway hashtag and a boycott on social media. Twitter users blasted Unanue for supporting a man who has stoked racism against the community that Goya benefits from most. People also called out the utter hypocrisy of Unanue standing by Trump and a “Hispanic Prosperity Initiative” event when Trump has referred to Latinos as criminals and rapists, separated thousands of families at the border, put children in cages, campaigned on a Mexico-U.S. border wall, characterized immigration as an “invasion” and tried to dismantle DACA.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Julián Castro were some of the most prominent voices that spoke up against the company. AOC cracked a joke about googling “how to make your own Adobo,” while Castro asked Americans to “think twice” before stocking up on Goya.
“[Goya] has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations,” Castro wrote. “Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products.”
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) July 9, 2020
Meanwhile, Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa suggested people turn to alternative brands and local products. “Support smaller local versions & how abt going to Latino neighborhoods, supporting Bodegas, small groceries in the barrio?”