The leaders of a number of Latino organizations across the United States have condemned Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue for declaring that Donald Trump remains "the actual president", prompting calls for a boycott of his company's products.
Unanue - the CEO of a New Jersey company considered the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the country - made his comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on in Orlando on Sunday.
"I'm honored to be here, but my biggest honor today is going to be that I think we're going to be on the same stage as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate and the still actual president of the United States, Donald J. Trump."
In response, a coalition of Latino organizations in the United States said in a statement - released by the Hispanic Federation - that while Unanue is "entitled to support the candidate of his choosing", he should not be allowed to use his position to "attack our democracy - the belief and fiath 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," the statement said.
"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," it added. "They are utterly unacceptable and disqualifying for anyone in a position of leadership and power."
The statement was signed by the leaders of a number of organizations, including the US Hispanic Leadership Institute, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Mi Familia Vota, the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, LatinoJustice, the Latino Commission on AIDS, Alianza Americas, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Federation, Presente.Org and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.
Collectively, the organizations said that Unanue's assertion that Joe Biden's electoral victory was a fraud is 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 Food customers and regards the brand as a staple in their homes and on their dinner tables," the statement added. "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."
In January, Goya's Board of Directors voted to censure Unanue after he made an appearance on Fox News in which he called Biden's victory "unverified" and spoke of a coming "war".
"Mr. Unanue has clearly not learned his lesson. It is high time that the corporate governance structures at Goya Foods act," the Latino organizations said in this week's statement. "This is not a matter of free speech or respecting political differences, this is about integrity".
On social media, activists and Goya customers across the country called for a boycott of Goya's products. Similar campaign - using the hashtags #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway - took place in January following Unanue's appearance on Fox, as well as in the summer after Unanue expressed support for Trump.
Many Republicans and Trump supporters, however, have expressed support for the company. In July, then-President Donald Trump posted a picture alongside Goya products in the Oval Office of the White House.
Similarly, Ivanka Trump posted a picture holding a can of Goya beans along with the caption - in English and Spanish - that "si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno."
The latest round of calls for Boycotts included a number of prominent celebrities and activists, including TV host Joy Behar.
"No more chick peas from Goya for me," Behar tweeted.
Soledad O'Brian, a prominent TV journalist and executive producer, tweeted that "folks at Goya should be embarrassed by their CEO." Goya did not immediately respond for a request for comment from La PolÃtica Online.
Goya Foods was founded by Unanue's grandparents - Prudencio Unanue Ortiz and Carolina Casal - in 1936 in New York City after emigrating to the United States from Spain. The family-run company currently manufactures 2,500 products, ranging from seasons and beans to frozen products and a variety of snacks. The company currently has facilities in the US, Puerto Rico, Spain and the Dominican Republic.
In 2014, Forbes reported that the Unanue family was the 170th richest in the United States, with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion.
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