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The head of Goya Foods vowed Friday he would not be forced to apologize for praising President Donald Trump during a White House event a day earlier, despite growing criticism from Left-wing groups and calls to boycott his brand.
“It’s suppression of speech,” Robert Unanue told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning program. “I’m not apologizing.
The Goya CEO went on to note that in 2012 he was contacted by then-first lady Michelle Obama about an initiative of hers to help black and Hispanic communities adopt healthier eating lifestyles.
“They called on us as the most-recognized Hispanic brand in the United States, and I went,” he continued, adding that he also went to the White House later to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with then-President Barack Obama.
“And so you’re allowed to talk good, or to praise, one president,” but not Trump, Unanue said, though the president called on him to help devise and launch another new initiative embodied in a just-signed executive order aimed at bolstering Hispanics’ access to economic and educational opportunities.
“You make a positive comment, all of a sudden that’s not acceptable so, you know, I’m not apologizing for saying — and especially if you’re called by the president of the United States, you’re gonna say, ‘No, I’m sorry, I’m busy, no thank you,’” Unanue continued.
“I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump,” he continued.
He also talked about the “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative,” of which he is a part and which was begun under the Trump administration.
Earlier, Unanue offered praise for the president, calling him a “leader” and a “builder” — comments which sparked Leftist outrage and backlash.
“We are all truly blessed, at the same time, to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. And that’s what my grandfather did. He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper,” he said Thursday after Trump signed the executive order.
“And so we have an incredible builder and we pray,” he added. “We pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”
Earlier Friday, “Goya” was among the top trending terms on social media platforms like Twitter, with the hashtags #Goyaway and #BoycottGoya leading the way, as users posted messages critical of Unanue and vowing to discontinue purchasing the company’s products.
Hispanic Democrats also pounced on the Goya CEO, including former presidential contender Julian Castro and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“.@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. 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. #Goyaway,” Castro posted on Twitter.
.@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations.
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. #Goyaway https://t.co/lZDQlK6TcU
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) July 9, 2020
“Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo,’” Ocasio-Cortez noted.
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
It should be noted that neither of them has built or managed international companies that are worth in excess of $1.1 billion like Goya Foods.
It’s also important to point out that by criticizing Unanue’s decision to be a part of President Trump’s outreach initiatives, Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez and Castro are actively working against efforts meant to help Hispanics succeed.
During his Fox and Friends interview, Unanue also noted that it’s important for Hispanics to be a part of such efforts because outside of Mexico, more Hispanics live in the United States than in any other country around the world.
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