Goya Foods is facing a boycott after its CEO Robert Unanue met with President Donald Trump and praised him as a leader.
Unanue appeared in the rose garden alongside president Trump on Thursday as part of the White House's “Hispanic Prosperity Initiative" that aims to add more taxpayer support for charter and private schools, as well as added tax benefits for the "Opportunity Zone" program.
“We all truly blessed, at the same time, to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” Unanue said, prompting swift backlash among former fans of the iconic brand.
It wasn’t long after his words hit the news that the hashtags #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway started trending in the US.
Hispanics, citing Trump's history of derogatory comments against the community, were particularly angered by Unanue’s comments about Trump, swiftly reacting online against the brand that has been a staple of Hispanic kitchens for more than 80 years
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly announced to her twitter followers that it was time to learn how to make her own “adobo” (seasoning), one of the brand’s most popular products.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro also weighed in on the controversy.
"Goya Foods 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," he wrote on Twitter.
Goya was founded by Spanish immigrants Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina in New York City in 1936 and claims it is the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food brand.
Trump’s meeting with the CEO of Goya is his administration’s latest attempt to reach out to Hispanic voters, who will up 13.3% of the eligible voter population this year, according to the Pew Research Center.