Goya CEO's Trump comments led Latinos to call for a boycott. That Goya was surprised says a lot.

Goya CEO's Trump comments led Latinos to call for a boycott. That Goya was surprised says a lot.

A company connected by more than profit margins to the Latino community in America wouldn't be surprised by customers offended at the CEO's comments.

Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue might be regretting his Rose Garden endorsement of a president he called a "blessed" leader.

His remarks at a Thursday White House event where President Donald Trump hosted a group of Hispanic supporters came at a time when U.S. Latinos are facing disproportionate effects from COVID-19 and experiencing a 14.5 percent unemployment rate. He certainly struck a chord with Latinos — but not the one he or Trump hoped for. Instead, his comments were met with massive calls to boycott Goya, the iconic, mostly East Coast Latino food brand that has been both a staple and a nutritional pariah for the country’s largest nonwhite population.

As Unanue’s comments, so disconnected from the reality of so many Latinos in America, sparked an outcry, the question really is why the head of one of the richest Spanish-American families would be willing to risk his company’s future by siding with this president, of all presidents. After all, Trump began his campaign in 2015 with racist comments about Latino immigrants: "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best," he said. "They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists." And, less well reported, he added: "It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America."

That's basically the heritage of Goya's entire customer base.

And Trump continues to disparage Latinos — at least Latinos who don’t agree with him politically. So why would Unanue want to become part of that story, let alone allow Goya to become part of the story?

By Julio Ricardo Varela


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