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Saturday, 11 July 2020

'I love Goya': Trump backs Goya CEO after he defies attempts to cancel his family-owned brand by AOC, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chrissy Teigen for praising the president

President Trump threw his weight behind Robert Unanue after the CEO of Goya Foods admitted he is facing a backlash for praising the president at a White House event on Thursday.
The president posted a 'I love Goya' message after AOC and model Chrissy Teigen, an outspoken Trump critic who is also a cookbook author, who tweeted: 'Don't care how good the beans taste though. Bye bye.'
Others included Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton playwright, and former presidential candidate Julian Castro who said Unanue praised someone who villainizes Goya's customer base.  
Goya was founded in Manhattan in 1936 by Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, immigrants from Spain. The company calls itself the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States and remains in family control, with an estimated value of $3 billion and is now based in New Jersey.
Robert Unanue, Goya CEO and a grandson of the founders, spoke at a Rose Garden event announcing a 'Hispanic Prosperity Initiative' on Thursday.
'We are all truly blessed, at the same time, to have have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,' Unanue said standing at a podium beside Trump.
Almost immediately, #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway began trending on social media platforms like Twitter, with scorn coming seemingly from all directions, including some big political names.
Many were angered by the support, citing Trump's history of derogatory comments and harsh policies toward Hispanics, most notably, the administration's policy of separating immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Praise for the president: Robert Unanue, the CEO of Goya Foods, the biggest family-owned Hispanic company in the U.S., went to the White House and said the country was 'blessed' to have Donald Trump
 Praise for the president: Robert Unanue, the CEO of Goya Foods, the biggest family-owned Hispanic company in the U.S., went to the White House and said the country was 'blessed' to have Donald Trump
Twitter outrage: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro were among those attacking Goya
Twitter outrage: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Julian Castro were among those attacking Goya
Goya foods CEO praises Trump at White House meeting
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Fightback: Goya tried to highlight its good works as its CEO faced a boycott over praising Trump
Fightback: Goya tried to highlight its good works as its CEO faced a boycott over praising Trump
Ocasio-Cortez of New York said she would learn to make from scratch some of the Latin cuisine that Goya makes.
But Unanue went on Fox & Friends Friday morning defiant about what he said.
Asked by host Brian Kilmeade if he was facing a boycott he said: 'Yes. It's suppression of speech.'
He said that he had accepted an invitation to the White House to meet Barack and Michelle Obama and said: So, you're allowed to talk good or to praise one president, but you're not allowed to aid in economic and educational prosperity? 
'And you make a positive comment and all of a sudden, it is not acceptable.'
Unanue, a registered Republican, has never publicly been a Trump supporter. 
He donated $6,000 to the Republican Party last year in the form of support for the Republican National Committee and its Winred generic fundraising arm.
Previously he has been a small-scale donor to Chris Christie and Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, but also to New Jersey Democratic senator Robert Menendez.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway in an interview on 'Fox & Friends' called Goya a food company that is 'really the American dream.'
'It's just a shame that people make everything so politicized, including food,' Conway said. 
According to the Pew Research Center, 13.3% of eligible voters in the U.S. this year are Latino, a record high. 
Trump has been working hard recently to court Latino voters, who could swing the vote in states such as Arizona. 
On Wednesday, he welcomed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the White House with lofty language, calling Mexico a cherished partner. Trump´s tone was in stark contrast from when he kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign by referring to Mexicans as 'rapists' and railed against migrants entering the United States illegally. 
Trump supporters on Twitter jumped on the boycott to call on people to buy Goya in support of the CEO.
Pro-Trump backlash to the backlash: Among those attacking the Goya boycott were the president's son, who attacked cancel culture at the same time as his father was threatening to cancel funding for 'left-wing' colleges, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and millionaire Republican lobbyist Matt Schlapp
Pro-Trump backlash to the backlash: Among those attacking the Goya boycott were the president's son, who attacked cancel culture at the same time as his father was threatening to cancel funding for 'left-wing' colleges, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and millionaire Republican lobbyist Matt Schlapp
And Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: 'So the leftist mob wants to cancel one of the largest Hispanic owned companies in America because they recognize that the president has shown great leader ship? (Not very woke)'
Ironically his father tweeted a demand to cancel tax breaks and funding for schools and colleges at almost exactly the same time, accusing them of 'left-wing indoctrination.' 
Yet the potential danger for companies became clear almost from the first day of the Trump administration. A public statement, political donations, or support, can bring a torrent of unwanted publicity.
In 2017, the CEO Under Armour walked back comments in which he said Trump was 'an asset to the country.'
In a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun, where Under Armour is based, CEO Kevin Plank wrote that his choice of words 'did not accurately reflect my intent.' He said Under Armour stands for equal rights and job creation and believes 'immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America,' Plank wrote.
The company also said it opposes the Trump administration's travel policies.
Last year, the luxury gym Equinox and indoor cycling studio SoulCycle faced a backlash over a Trump fundraiser.
Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, at the time one of only four African-Americans leading a Fortune 500 company, was the first to resign from Trump´s business councils over the president´s remarks on the white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Immigrant success story: Goya, whose corporate headquarters is in Jersey City, New Jersey, was founded in 1936 by an immigrant from Spain and now has an estimated value of $3 billion
Immigrant success story: Goya, whose corporate headquarters is in Jersey City, New Jersey, was founded in 1936 by an immigrant from Spain and now has an estimated value of $3 billion
Some business leaders quickly followed Frazier's lead, including the CEOs of Under Armour and Intel. 
Others, including the heads Walmart and Johnson & Johnson, publicly condemned Trump's remarks but initially resisted pressure to leave the councils. Within days, however, the ballooning uproar pushed the companies to shift course, and the panels fell apart.
Demographic changes and the massive Black Lives Matter movement are making race a pivotal issue in the upcoming election.
According to the Pew Research Center, 13.3% of eligible voters in the U.S. this year are Latino, a record high.
Trump has been working hard recently to court Latino voters, who could swing the vote in states such as Arizona and Florida. On Wednesday, he welcomed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the White House with lofty language, calling Mexico a cherished partner.
Trump's tone was in stark contrast from when he kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign by referring to Mexicans as 'rapists' and railed against migrants entering the United States illegally.
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has been an often target of Trump, criticized those behind the wheels of the boycott.
'Goya is a staple of Cuban food. My grandparents ate Goya black beans twice a day for nearly 90 years. And now the Left is trying to cancel Hispanic culture and silence free speech. #BuyGoya' Cruz wrote on Twitter.
Many of those that came to Goya's defense Friday pointed out Goya's history of community service.
In March and April this year, Goya donated over 300,000 pounds of food, or about 270,000 meals, to food banks and other organizations as part of its pandemic relief effort. 
The company said it also donated more 20,000 protective masks. Last month, Goya showed up with thousands of pounds of food to families in the Bronx and Harlem who have been affected by COVID-19 and gave food to a public school in Queens.
Goya lists 2,500 products, from seasonings and cooking oils, to beans and other Latin American staples as well as frozen products and snacks. Their offerings are ubiquitous in grocery stores across the U.S., sometimes taking up their own entire aisle.

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