Drain The Swamp



(photo) Daby B. Carreras

Ken Gibson

NYC 2020  

Last week I heard a strange conversation on 1280AM, which is a Spanish language radio station in NY.  It was about boycotting Goya, a company that is almost 100 years old and serves the needs of the Hispanic community. Started in Puerto Rico by an immigrant from Spain, it branched into the tri-state area and was a moderate success, worth about $8.5 million by the 1970s.  The owner, Prudencio Unanue Ortiz, left it on his death to his four sons, the eldest of whom, Joseph, turned it into a major concern, with $700million in revenues by 1998. Its line included 800 items and hired 2,000 people, all or most from the Spanish speaking community. Presently, it hires 40,000, with plants in New Jersey, Texas, California, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. It purchases crops and supplies from almost every Spanish speaking nation.  So when someone wanted to boycott if, I could only think that some racist boycott was in place. It would be logical to ask if it was not retribution from George Bush, whose company, the Carlyle Group, had launched a takeover bid in 2019, which was spurned.  But no, this boycott is coming from the so-called revolutionaries who are mad at Goya CEO Robert Unanue for praising Donald Trump earlier this month.  The lunatics are not only taking over the asylum, but food processing plants as well.  While Goya Foods has been especially charitable, giving away two million pounds of food in this present crisis and being there in other times of need, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, some people are not happy. And those unhappy people have nothing to give anyone, they just want to take jobs away from workers at Goya who are mostly Hispanic.  So the boycott was being ridiculed a bit on the radio. One commentator asked if this was a Black Beans Matter movement. Then they started talking about white beans vs pink beans. To many in the Hispanic community, this boycott is stupid – or worse – an attempt to put them out of work. The whole idea is a joke, a very bad joke. Unanue called the boycott “suppression of speech” and stood his ground. In response, man from Virginia raised over $77,000 to buy Goya products and donate them to food pantries.  The Carreras campaign will be supporting Goya and buying Goya items. “Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno” is the company motto – this means in English: “If it’s Goya it has to be good.”  The boycott is bad. A very bad idea that needs to be stopped before thousands of people lose their jobs and consumers go without their products, many of which are only produced by this company and have a special place in the Latin community.  Thankfully, many GOP members, many of whom never bought Goya foods before, are going out and buying Goya so in some places sales have tripled and jobs are secure at Goya.

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