CHICAGO — Former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez has joined a growing chorus of voices boycotting Goya Foods after the CEO showered President Donald Trump with praise during a ceremony at the White House on Thursday.
Goya CEO Robert Unanue said “we are truly blessed…to have a leader like President Donald Trump” during an event in the Rose Garden announcing the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative.
Goya Foods, founded in New York in 1936 by Unanue’s grandfather after immigrating from Spain, then faced swift backlash and calls for boycotts throughout on social media.
In a Facebook video Friday, Gutiérrez, who served in Congress for more than 25 years, stood in front of several Goya products inside his pantry before lambasting the CEO and the company as “conquistadores.”
“You wiped out our indigenous population in Puerto Rico, you exploited the Puerto Ricans for centuries under your colonialism,” he said of the company.
“Now, you support Donald Trump — who hates us and despises us, and who has treated the Puerto Rican people with such cruelty. No more Goya. Boycott Goya. I will never buy another product of yours again.”
Those pledging not to buy more Goya products pointed to the president’s long record of racist comments and animosity toward Latinos in the United States.
In announcing his run for president, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists,” and “criminals.”
Trump doubled down on his comments during a rally in 2018, where he said his comments were “peanuts compared to what turns out to be the truth,” according to a report from the Hill
Politicians and many other Twitter users criticized the company for failing to acknowledge the harsh policies including Trump’s controversial family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border and the existing migrant detention camps.
As the backlash swirled, Unanue doubled down on his comments in an interview with Fox News, saying he wasn’t apologizing and customers pulling business from his company amounted to “suppression of speech.”
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