Beans: Good for Your Heart and Your Political Base

The battle of the beans continues.

In a political stunt designed to agitate progressives, Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) announced a Goya canned food drive to benefit local food pantries in her district as a counteraction to calls to boycott the company.
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Malliotakis specifically targeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s (D-Astoria, College Point, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) public support of the boycott in her announcement on Saturday about the canned food drive. It was another example of progressives trying to suppress opposing points of view, she said.

“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s attempt to launch a boycott is symptomatic of the radical left’s attempts to bully and intimidate those who hold opposing views,” said Malliotakis. “The fact that her actions are aimed at an 84-yr-old Hispanic family owned business over political differences is shameful.”

The kerfuffle over Goya products began last week when Goya Foods President and CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump during a celebration in the Rose Garden at the White House for a new executive order focused on increasing economic and educational opportunities for Hispanics.

“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,” said Unanue in his remarks “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.”

Unanue’s remarks in the Rose Garden spread quickly, sparking outrage online and rallying cries to boycott the popular Latin American food company’s products, including from Progressive figurehead Ocasio-Cortez.

“Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in a tweet referring to Unanue’s comments.

Malliotakis compared the boycott and what she called Ocasio-Cortez’s “destructive socialist policies” to Cuba’s communist regime.

“Attempts to silence opposing views are a trademark of AOC’s brand of socialism and are one of the reasons my mother fled Communist Cuba,” said Malliotakis. “On Friday night, I made Goya frijoles in honor of my mother, abuela (grandmother) and freedom-loving Americans.”

The Goya canned food drive, which started taking donations on Monday, July 13 and runs to the end of the month, is in the spirit of Goya Foods, she said.

“They’ve donated meals for New York City students as well as tons of food to the people of Venezuela, who are suffering under the same destructive socialist policies that Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez would like to inflict on the American people,” she said referring to a donation of nearly one ton of food that Goya made to a school district in Corona in partnership with Queens Borough President Sharon Lee last month. “Now is the time to show our support for this family-owned American business by purchasing Goya canned products for distribution to local food pantries.”

Ocasio-Cortez did not start the boycott, her office confirmed.

They said they would not be able to comment on Malliotakis’s accusations and canned food drive, and instead pointed Queens County Politics to a tweet Ocasio-Cortez sent in response to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) criticizing the protest.

“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,” Cruz wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez fired back pointing out that when Republicans boycotted Nike because of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality, it was considered free speech.

“Dems boycott anything= “suppression,”” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in the tweet.

She accused Cruz of picking and choosing when to defend Latinos.

“I know consistency isn’t your thing, but pick a lane. Trump targeted Latinos on Day 1. Caged our kids. And you defend it,” she continued.

And then she took one last shot:

“Your habichuelas probably taste like your politics anyway: 0 sazón,” the tweet finished.

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