An Attack On Goya Is An Attack On U.S. Hispanics

An Attack On Goya Is An Attack On U.S. Hispanics

Liberals claim they care about Hispanics, yet they’re trying to ‘cancel’ a company that means so much to people like my family and me.
Jacibe Areces
By

As a first-generation Cuban American raised on Goya products, it is revolting to see the far-left’s attack on the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States, simply for supporting President Trump’s Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. This is an initiative to help communities like mine obtain better access to educational and economic opportunities.

Goya has an impressive history of helping Hispanics like myself. They have helped families, students, churches, Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, and even orphanages. Last year, President Trump helped Goya’s charitable arm, Goya Gives, successfully deliver truckloads of food to Venezuelans who are starving under the Nicolas Maduro regime.

This week as part of the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, Goya announced its donation of one million cans of food, and one million pounds of product to food banks across the United States, which would benefit individuals and families in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goya has not only given back to the people from my community, but it’s also a staple of Hispanic culture. I grew up on Goya and I’ll never forget my abuela repeating their popular slogan: Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno (If it’s Goya, it has to be good).

Democrats should know how important Goya is to Hispanic families, which is why it’s dumb to see liberals line up to boycott a company that helps minority communities. Goya doesn’t ask about a family’s political affiliation when they give scholarships to kids, nor do they care whether it’s a blue or red state they’re helping with disaster relief efforts. In fact, in 2011, Goya worked with and supported former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.

Liberals claim they care about Hispanics, yet they’re trying to “cancel” a company that means so much to people like my family and me. They care more about political ideology than actual results. One could easily argue that Goya CEO Robert Unanue has done more to help Hispanic Americans than any politician, from either party.

The mainstream media may like the spectacle of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ana Navarro-Cardenas, and Julian Castro attacking Goya, but they do not speak for me and they certainly do not speak for all Hispanics. They, and those who think like them, like to talk a big game about “privilege.” Well, imagine the “privilege” required to lead a boycott against a company that literally puts food on the tables of Hispanic families, just because you disagree with something its CEO said.

There is also an absurd double standard. In 2011, Unanue introduced President Obama at a reception in the White House, where he said he was “honored and humbled” to be a part of those gathered for a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration while the Obama-Biden administration was deporting Hispanics in record numbers. Where was the outrage then?

Of course, there wasn’t any, because “cancel culture” is a political tool for the left to use against its opponents.

Growing up, my grandparents were restaurant owners, and homemade Cuban meals using Goya products were not only their livelihood but also the bond that brought our multigenerational family together every weekend. I’ve been fortunate to have more than 40 family recipes handed down to me, and every time I make one, I am reminded of my heritage and what my family has accomplished in this country. From arroz con pollo to black beans and rice, for more than 32 years my family and I have turned to Goya for a taste of tradition.

The story of Goya is rooted in the American Dream, where hard work and perseverance allow you to achieve your version of success regardless of who you are. That is the dream my parents had when they immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1985, and that is the same dream I share with my children.

Food does not have to be political, but with extremists attacking a company whose products I grew up on, my family and I, like many others in South Florida, will not only continue to buy Goya’s products, we will double down on them. My parents risked everything to live in freedom, and I will not remain silent, because an attack on Goya is an attack on Hispanic families like mine.

Jacibe Areces is a global brand marketing professional and holds an MBA and BBA in international business. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband and two sons.

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