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National Latino Leaders Condemn Comments by Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue at CPAC 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2021

During this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2021 in Orlando, Florida Goya Foods CEO, Robert Unanue, said that former President Donald Trump was “the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president” of the United States. This is a lie and Mr. Unanue must be held accountable for his words.

Mr. Unanue has made clear his preference for former President Trump and spoke publicly in favor of his policies during the 2020 president election campaign. He is entitled to support the candidate of his choosing. What he most clearly should not be entitled to is the platform his role at Goya Foods provides to attack our democracy – the belief and faith in free and fair elections, which has been the bedrock of our union and national success. The election of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris was free, fair, certified by state election authorities, validated by our courts, and affirmed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mr. Unanue’s remarks this weekend dangerously perpetuate falsehoods that were at the core of the criminal assault on the nation’s capital on January 6th. They are utterly unacceptable and disqualifying for anyone in a position of leadership and power.

The assertion by Mr. Unanue that the 2020 Presidential election was tainted by widespread fraud is also an affront to the millions of Latino voters in this nation who, despite significant voter suppression efforts, mustered the courage and conviction to cast their ballots. Many of these voters, no doubt, are Goya Foods customers and regard the brand as a staple in their homes and on their dinner tables. It is a slap in the face to those millions of voters and customers to insist, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that they were complicit in a grand electoral fraud.

Earlier this year, the Board of Directors of Goya Foods, including other members of the Unanue family, censured Mr. Unanue for making false claims about the integrity of the 2020 Presidential election. Mr. Unanue has clearly not learned his lesson. It is high time that the corporate governance structures at Goya Foods act. This is not a matter of free speech or respecting political differences, this is about integrity. Will Goya Foods honor its more than century-long relationship with the Hispanic community or will it continue to enable the lies of its CEO? The choice is clear.

Dr. Juan Andrade
President
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute

Ana Marie Argilagos
President & CEO
Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP)

Héctor Sánchez Barba
Executive Director & CEO
Mi Familia Vota

Sindy Benavides
CEO
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

Lydia Camarillo
President
SVREP Action Fund
William C. Velasquez Institute

Juan Cartagena
President & General Counsel
LatinoJustice

Brenda Victoria Castillo
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition

Guillermo Chacón
President
Latino Commission on AIDS

Oscar A. Chacón
Executive Director
Alianza Americas

Marco A. Davis
President & CEO
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)

Mark Magaña
Founding President & CEO
GreenLatinos

Frankie Miranda

President & CEO
Hispanic Federation

Matt Nelson
Executive Director
Presente.org

Jose Antonio Tijerino
President & CEO
Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Contact:
Matthew Rojas
mrojas@hispanicfederation.org