The CEO of Goya Foods has bestowed the honor of “Employee of the Month” to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after her call to boycott the brand resulted in a dramatic spike in sales.
In an interview with podcaster Michael Berry, Goya boss Bob Unanue said sales of his brand grew by 1,000 percent after the self-described Democratic socialist and others called for the boycott.
In July, Unanue praised President Donald Trump for being a “leader” and a “builder” like the CEO’s immigrant grandfather.
“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 during an event at the White House.
“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.”
Previously, President Trump signed an executive order to provide better avenues for economic and educational success for Hispanics.
But his praise for the president drew the ire of Hispanic leftists including Ocasio-Cortez and former Democratic presidential contender and Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.
“Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo,’” the New York socialist tweeted, suggesting she would no longer be purchasing the product from Goya.
For his part, Castro urged Americans to now “think twice” before buying Goyo products.
“[email protected] 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,” he wrote.
“It’s shameful and appalling that the president of Goya Foods is praising the most anti-Latino president in the history of our country,” Nathalie Rayes, president and CEO of the PAC Latino Victory, said in a statement. “We call for a boycott of Goya Foods products and anyone who stands with Donald Trump and against our community.”
In subsequent media appearances, Unanue remained defiant, explaining that he wasn’t going to be shamed or forced into apologizing.
“It’s suppression of speech. I’m not apologizing,” he told Fox & Friends the following day.
Unanue went on to explain that he was contacted by then-first lady Michelle Obama in 2012 to help black and Hispanic communities adopt better, healthier eating habits.
“They called on us as the most-recognized Hispanic brand in the United States, and I went,” the CEO said, noting further that he went back to the White House later to launch 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, adding that Trump called him for input prior to issuing his executive order.
“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 added.
“I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump.”
Listen at 30:10 mark:
In his interview with Berry, Unanue said he thinks that Ocasio-Cortez is just young and naive, but that she might eventually be able to accept alternative views.
“We still have a chance with AOC,” he said, adding, “I love her, you know, I don’t like — she didn’t — she was actually our employee of the month, I don’t know if you know about this.”
Berry said that he wasn’t aware of that.
“When she boycotted us, our sales actually increased 1000%, so we gave her an honorary — we never were able to hand it to her — she got employee of the month for bringing attention to Goya and our adobo,” he added.
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