“Goya Boycott Is Punishing Free Speech,” Says Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has stirred up backlash for his defense of the CEO of Goya’s endorsement of President Trump. Cruz is arguing that the boycott against Goya is an attempt to punish the Hispanic Foods Company for the CEO exercising his freedom of speech. Many were quick to point out that Sen. Cruz boycotted Nike for political reasons.

NPR reported that Cruz’s Nike boycott was in regard to the shoe company canceling the production and sell of shoes dawning the Betsy Ross flag which signaled an endorsement of slavery in the eyes of some. The boycott against Goya was sparked when Trump was praised by the CEO on Thursday during a White House ceremony. CEO Robert Unanue said, “We’re 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. And so we have an incredible builder, and we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”

#BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway lit up Twitter after the comments. Anger was expressed by many in the Hispanic community, including, Julian Castro, a Democrat and Congressman from Texas who pointed out the inflammatory insults Trump has hurled at the Hispanic community for “political gain.” Castro tweeted on Friday, “Free speech works both ways. @Goyafoods CEO is free to support a bigoted president who said an American judge can’t do his job because he’s ‘Mexican’, who treats Puerto Rico like trash, and who tries to deport Dreamers. We’re free to leave his products on the shelves. #Goyaway.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens also backed the boycott saying, “GOYA is turning its back on our community to appease a President who attacks and demonizes Latinos daily,” said Domingo Garcia, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens on a statement on Friday. “I will recommend adoption of a national boycott against GOYA Foods unless Mr. Unanue issues a public apology and formal retraction by 5 PM EST Saturday.” The organization is the oldest Latino civil rights group.

Ted Cruz decided to admonish those boycotting Goya Foods. He tweeted, “Goya is a staple of Cuban food. My grandparents ate Goya black beans twice a day for nearly 90 years. And now the Left is trying to cancel Hispanic culture and silence free speech.”

The New York Times reported that Cruz vowed not to purchase any Nike gear after the canceling of the Betsy Ross flag shoe. The cancellation was suggested by Colin Kaepernick who was concerned that the 13-star flag was being abused by racists.

Cruz tweeted in July 2019, “I love America. I stand for the anthem, respect the flag & honor the men & women who fought to defend our Nation. I respect Free Speech & I’m exerting mine: until @Nike ends its contempt for those values, I WILL NO LONGER PURCHASE NIKE PRODUCTS. #WalkAwayFromNike RT if you agree.”,

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