Death Of Yankees Prospect Reflects a Rise In Sports Fatalities


It used to be the safest place being part of a professional sports organization. It still is for the most part but in 2016 we have seen more sports personalities die from accidents and in particular by the gun. New York Yankees pitching prospect Alexander Figueredo of Venezuela was reported as having been shot multiple times at a party. He was 20.

During 2016 we saw too many examples of real life touch the fantasy existance of sports celebrities. Now, being famous only makes you a target or a bigger news story when one is killed.

Rashaan Salaam
, former Heisman winner with Colorado was found in a park dead with no cause yet found. A former New York Jets running back Joe McKnight was shot during an argument. New Orleans Pelicans rookie guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot breaking down a door to an apartment in Dallas. New England Patriots defensive tackle Ron Brace was found dead at home, again cause unknown. Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot in a road rage incident. Lawrence Phillips appeared to commit suicide. Zurlon Tipton shot himself accidentally in his car dealership.

All these incidents serve to remind us that the common themes of anger, retribution, and mortality are not for the unfamous solely. Yes, many young athletes see themselves as invincible and as a result carry these themes into real life where the consequences are more final. Jose Fernandez was just like Figueredo.

He was 24 and speeding in his boat where he crashed off of Miami Beach. This year we learned more often that sports no longer is the safe haven from everyday life. The charmed existance does not extend to the personal lives of these men who are just as flawed but covered with the sheen of sports accomplishments to define their public characters. Now these men sit six feet under no different from you and me. None forseeing the end that came all too soon.



The 2015 World Series started last night at Kauffmann Field and ended this morning with a victory for the Home team, the American League Champion, Kansas City Royals. They defeated the National League Champion, New York Mets, 5-4 in 14 innings.

It was a night of quirky twists and turns, tragedy and technological failures. We also got historical as the two teams tied the record for longest World Series game by inning with the second game of the 1916 series (Boston Red Sox vs Brooklyn Robins) and game 3 in 2005 (Chicago White Sox vs Houston Astros).

The Latino effect in baseball will always pop up and postseason in particular. Edinson Volquez of the Dominican Republic, the Royals Game 1 starter, father died of heart disease before the game unknown to him as family chose to wait until after the game. He went six innings allowing only three runs on six hits.

“I could tell he was devastated,”

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie shared,

“I had never seen him like that before.”

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The game started off in shocking fashion as the Royals Alcides Escobar, from Venezuela, hit a liner off the Mets Matt Harvey, off the wall that ricocheted on a wicked angle, allowing him to score the first inside-the-park home run since Mule Haas did in it in the 1929 World Series.


In the fourth, ESPN, went dark when a broadcast truck lost power leading to an outage that returned MLB back to its rich past by going back to audio play by play.

The Mets rallied in the eighth with Juan Lagares on base with a single and stolen base followed by Wilmer Flores of Venezuela, who reached on a error by Eric Hosmer and giving the Mets a 4-3 lead.

However, Mets closer, Jeurys Familia, of the Dominican Republic, who led the team with 49 saves, was burned by Alex Gordon, who hit one over the fence in dead centerfield evening matters at four in the ninth.

“We liked where we were at,”

Mets manager Terry Collins retorted.

“And why not?”

Why not at all. Familia had not blown a save since July 30th, and had solidified the closer position.

It would be a marathon from that point. Bartolo Colon, of the Dominican Republic, at 42, often criticized for his age and shape, held it down for two innings escaping a bases loaded jam in the 12th.


Escobar, however, struck again with a hot single that David Wright knocked down at third but couldn’t make the play. Ben Zobrist singled to run to put runners on the corners. After intentionally passing Lorenzo Cain to load them up again, Hosmer was up and he smashed it to right and Curtis Granderson throw could not beat Escobar, who touched the plate as the Royals took a 1-0 lead in the series.

“Everyone else on the team has been stepping up,”

Hosmer explained,

“Its time to do your part.”

Now Johnny Cueto, of the Dominican Republic, and the Royals will match up against Jason deGrom of the Mets in Game 2 tomorrow in Kauffman Stadium.

What You Didn’t about Chino y Nacho

chino y nacho

Chino and Nacho were just two kids with big dreams for musical stardom. One was an athlete and the other already knew he wanted to become a world renowned artist some day.

Before they became the popular reggaeton duo, they were simply Jesús Alberto Miranda Pérez (Chino) and Miguel Ignacio Mendoza (Nacho) from Venezuela.

Pérez came from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela and Mendoza came from Lecherias. Although they lived four and a half a part from each other, their paths would one day collide.

Not content with being a star athlete in sports such as baseball, and hoping to one day make his mark as a renowned artist, Pérez put all his passion into making music.

First he joined “Scala 1” and then “Censorship C“, both of which had hits, but were modestly successful as a group.

Mendoza was known for being a singer, dancer and composer since he was a child. Him pursuing music full time seemed like a natural progression.

Mendoza started to gain attention by being in the salsa band “Children’s Swing“, which toured the Zulia state and other surrounding cities for years, followed by appearances on the reality television show Venevision Generation “S” with his polyphonic group “Balance.”

Because of their charisma and talent, they were both soon discovered by Johnny Nunez and ended up joining the merengue hip hop group “Calle Ciega.” The other members of that group were Kent Barry James (Kent), Luis Fernando Romero (Luifer) and Emilio Vizcaino (Emilio).

Chino Y Nacho appeared on the cover of LatinTRENDS Magazine in November 2014. See Their Video shout out below:

Within that group they made five albums and helped to create the popular hit song ” Mi Cachorrita.” During that time, the groups sound changed from merengue to more dance style reggaeton.

As the two members continued to explore more musical styles, they formed the duo Chino y Nacho. Their music incorporated merengue, reggaeton, pop, reggae and salsa. In a few years they went from being popular in their home country of Venezuela to becoming international superstars once their first album “Época de Reyes” started gaining traction in other Latin American countries and then the United States.

The duo is not all about making music all the time. They like to serve their community. They take part in Education Through Music which raises money to help support music education programs in schools. They also participate in St. JudesThanks and Giving Campaign. This aids children with cancer and their families by providing schooling, housing and treatment for childhood cancer.

Fun Facts

  • Nacho bought plane tickets for a couple stranded at the airport after they missed their flight
  • Chino considered becoming a professional baseball player
  • They were judges on Simon Cowell’s “El Factor X Kids” in Mexico
  • They have an app to stay connected with their fans
  • Chino has dreams of making films in Venezuela when he is not making music


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Gunning for Guyana

nicholas maduro


President Nicolas Maduro Maros of the Venezuelan United Socialist Party,  has divided his country’s people in two after his inauguration in 2013, but has united them under one issue, taking the long-disputed Essequibo territory in Guyana and the surrounding maritime area.

The former vice president and minister of foreign affairs under Hugo Chavez has been under fire from the opposition and other political leaders in South America.  The lack of basic necessities, civil liberties and human rights, as well as increase in crime in Venezuela has made Chavez’s handpicked successor a bit of a laughing stock in the Latin American political circle.

As a result, Maduro has been facing a large drop in approval ratings and that has ignited a fire under the opposition, Coalition for Democratic Unity, to try an oust him since many in that party believe his election victory, in which he had less than 1.5%  edge, was a result of ballot tampering.

However, if he acquires the oil rich Essequibo land in Guyana, about two thirds of the country that has been disputed for in 1899 and 1962, he can start to change Venezuela’s deep economic disaster before the parliamentary elections in December and the outlook of his presidency.

This can possibly help create jobs, cut the crime rate and aid the those that are living beneath the poverty line in Venezuela if they ever get to see any of that potential money.

Maduro is so adamant about claiming the land that he has implemented plans to issue 200,000 identification cards to Guyanese people on the territory and present ad campaigns implying they would have a better livelihood under Venezuelan rule; Guyana is the third-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.


Despite the fight over which country has the rights to the Essequibo region, in the eyes of the international community, it belongs to Guyana, a country that has been facing its own economic downturn for years. Still, after the 1962 ruling, Venezuela has persistently been trying to negotiate with the former British colony for that territory, but Guyana has consistenly refused to rollover.

The recently elected president of Guyana responded to Maduro’s claims at an address to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM):

Guyana’s border with Venezuela was fixed 116 years ago. Maps were drawn. Atlases were adjusted. Border markers were cast in stone,” said President David Granger.

david granger

The newly discovered oil in the territory will help Guyana to be less reliant on Venezuela (one of the largest exporters in the World) to meet that need. For years Guyana has traded rice for Venezuelan oil.

Oil will not be the only thing Guyana loses if it turns over the grassland and jungle area to Venezuela. Many locals already make a living off the land for gold, mineral and hunting.

Of course the United States has a part to play in all of this. It was the United States’ own oil compamy, ExxonMobil, that made the discovery of the oil in Guyana’s maritime area. Also, the United States has economic sanctions against Venezuela for its human rights violations, resulting in the country’s sharp economic decline. Approximately 95% of the South American country’s foreign exchange comes from oil. Without the U.S., one of the biggest importers of oil, Venezuela can end up a failed state.

Maduro suggests that Guyana should listen to what Venezuela has to offer and that by no means does he want the dispute to escalate into a violence.

“The Essequibo issue cannot be resolved militarily,” said Maduro. Instead, he is hoping for a diplomatic approach.

If Guyana doesn’t believe his claims, it has to do with Maduro appointing General Gerardo Izquierdo to lead the commissiion on the Essequibo region. Guyana has also met with the United Nations about the Essequibo issue being a national security problem, but has recently decided to take up matters on its own if its “sovereignity is threatened,” according to the country’s foreign minister.

Should Venezuela diversify its foreign exports to help its country, or take on a territorial battle and possible actual one with Guyana? Is Guyana on Venezuelan territory and should it give it back, or does the country have every right to defend itself from a long-settled land dispute? Is the United States’ interference the real problem, and were the sanctions against Venezuela necessary to address the human rights violations?

Tell us what you think about the situation.


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The latest album project of Chino and Nacho is enormous in material and depth of character. Their new album “Radio Universo” is 18 tracks deep and the number of colloborations nearly as long. Names such as Farruko, Gente de Zona, Jerry Rivera, and Sean Kingston come to mind among others.

Its direction in content is a bit of a turn for this acclaimed duo. In working with Farruko on the remix single, they shed their comfort zone for sure.

“Our music is Tropical Urban, we mix merengue and Latin roots, but with this song, we went a bit more urban.”

Chino explained.

They released their single “Me Voy Enamorando remix” at the same time and is perched at the Top of BILLBOARDS Tropical Airplay chart. But its the response their video is receiving that is making bigger news. It has been viewed by over 39 million in only a day of release on Vevo.

The center of the story is about a struggle many people worldwide share. The topic of Cancer.

“This video has a very beautiful love story. Everyone here knows a person or has lost someone due to cancer.”

Chino pointed out,

“We wanted to touch the hearts of those people with cancer to give them strength and positivism.”

The video, which was filmed in Venezuela harps on the power of support to counter less than optimum circumstances. Chino explained,

“The most effective remedy is love. Love from your family, your friends, that’s what makes people go on.”

Chino and Nacho have evolved and in the process touched millions.

Raul is prepped for the Red Carpet!

FARA (1)

When you see this face, first thing that comes to mind is “where have I seen him before?” Well most likely everywhere because Raul has been able to monopolize his talents and branch out into a number of different fields of entertainment. Off the bat looking at total physique, his dark brown hair to his memorizing eyes, the camera must love him. His image has played a vital role in his career as an established TV Host and elite actor. But it doesn’t end there, as a successful host and actor one has to also have the charisma and the voice. Another career which desires those endearing qualifications is music. Though in today’s era one can digitize and Photoshop with a swipe or a click of a button, in Raul’s case why would you want too? Raul has established himself in this industry with a captivating voice with the mentality of ‘take me as I am.’

Now with the long list of accomplishments, we can add Latin Tropical/Urban artist. His dream has come true. From his initial release of “50 Sombras” based on the film ’50 Shades of Grey” to his new single “Mala Actitud”, Raul has proven that he is in a league of his own with the continued aspiration that anything is possible.

“Mala Actitud” was a composed by “Nacho” Miguel Ignacio Mendoza of the famous duo of Venezuela, Chino y Nacho , Raúl and Frank Santofimio.

“Mala Actitud’s” music video has become a favorite in various music outlets on an international scale. TV, radio and social media have embraced this single because it has become not only a hit with rhythm and mind friendly lyrics, but it has become a single with a message that people relate too.

” Mala Actitud ” is a single that will stay around for quite some time. You think its a Grammy Winner?



Marc Anthony never goes out of style. Shannon De Lima, 26, his on again, off again model girlfriend from Venezuela, is now going to be the next wife of this iconic singer.

Marc, 46, was previously married to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres from 2000-2004, and Jennifer Lopez from 2004-2014. Marc has five children. The timing was curious as it was announced days after excerpts from Jennifer Lopez book touched on the relationship with Marc. An example below.

“It’s hard to bring up all this stuff because it’s like why are we talking about this because it is in the past, but we had a family and we did plan on being together for 40 years,”

she confided. “He used to talk about that all of the time and that was our goal, so that day I had to give up that dream and I think that was the hardest part of it.”

The wedding is scheduled for this November in the Dominican Republic. As Jennifer appears to be having problems dealing with being alone, Marc continues to move forward.

Five Fall Travel Essentials

Fall Essentials
Even if you’re planning a fall vacation somewhere tropical, like Chile, Ecuador, or Venezuela, truth is, you can’t go wrong with a few fall must-haves. This way you’ll be comfortable and warm on the plane!

1. Fashionable scarves: whether infinity scarves or the traditional kind can be soothing throughout a long flight. Macy’s has an array of scarves starting at just $28.

2. Trench coats are always in! Don’t be afraid to add a little color and showcase your personality.

3. Leggings are kind of magical. They’re comfortable enough to wear casually, but also easy to dress up.

4. Combat boots add a little oomph to any outfit and comfort to your inevitable travel strolls.

5. Let go of fruity summer fragrances (if you’re tired of them), and build memories with a sophisticated, musky fall fragrance.

What are some of your fall travel must-haves?


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The musical composers which also make up the members of Grupo Treo, are on top of the mountain on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay charts for the week of August 16-22, 2014.

Based in Venezuela, “Pegado A Tu Boca” comes off their third album, “Te Gusta (You like it). The group were quite pleased to hear the results. “We knew that the public would take to it, and the response has been incredible.” They explained.

“With this achievement, we’re living the beginnings of our own American Dream.”

The fans have shown a love for this well blended album. Danny Daniel, Rey, and Chucho feel they have an idea why this 11 track album has struck a cord, and a number one single. ”

Its a fusion of urban, tropical, and pop beats, with romantic and novel lyrics that mix well with the music.”

They explained.

Grupo Treo is another SESEC Latina success story. The organization, founded in 1930, is a technology leader, processing royalty payments with speed and accuracy. They are also the only society that offers its affliates monthly radio performance royalties.

Reasons To Visit Venezuela

If you’re planning a vacation, chances are you’re debating between Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and other destinations in Latin America. Get ready to add Venezuela to that list, because there are a few reasons a trip to Venezuela makes good sense:

1. Caracas is Venezuela’s capital city, and a common destination amongst tourist. The city takes pride in its museums, artwork and historical artifacts.

Caracas, Venezuela (Image Via Blog Sunshine)

Caracas, Venezuela (Image Via Blog Sunshine)

2. Venezuela is divided into 23 states. Cumana, Venezuela is the capital of Sucre State. Though earthquakes contributed to the destruction of some of its original buildings, but left behind buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Church of Santa Ines, for example, still contains artifacts from the 1600s.

The Church of Santa Ines (Image Via

The Church of Santa Ines (Image Via

3. Valencia is the capital of Carebobo, and it is Venezuela’s third largest city. Valencia is surrounded by mountains, and its temperature makes it suitable for camping.

Valencia, Venezuela (Image Via Wikipedia)

Valencia, Venezuela (Image Via Wikipedia)

What part of Venezuela are you most excited to visit?

Protesting in Venezuela Turns Violent

Venezuela Protests 3It is unfair that people have to go to extreme lengths to get their point across and try to do something that creates change. It is unfair of how some country’s governments are run to the point where people are almost forced one way or another just to survive. Yet, this is the reality in some countries where surviving is a struggle on a daily basis for some people.

The media gets so consumed with presenting current events that sometimes, certain events do not even get enough coverage, so people rely on social media. One particular story is about Venezuela and all of the protests that have been recently happening in this country.

A group of students are protesting in Venezuela who is demanding that the United Nations send a mission to Venezuela; essentially help to take control of the people and bring order to the country.

The most recent incident involved these students being arrested for protesting, yet, like many others, the students will keep fighting back. More of these instances have happened as early as February 12th of this year. Combined deaths and arrests show that the people keep fighting and keep pushing the government to create change to their country.

Read more about the Venezuela protests in the April 2014 print issue of the magazine as well as on our website.

Spanish Restaurants NYC: Arepera Guacuco




There’s plenty of good reviews for this Venezualen hot-spot Arepera Guacuco! If you love arepa sandwiches, try the paisa, simple Venezualen cheese that’s similar to mozzarella, jamon y queso, a mariscado (shrimp, squid, mussels in tomato sauce), or even a salchicha (sausage in pink sauce), with prices ranging from $4.50 to $8.

“Arepera” means “a place that sells arepas,” and Guacuco is the name of a beach in Venezuela where owner Leonardo Molina was born. His mother Carmen is cooking the food at this restaurant, and her arepas are delicious. Arepas are lightly-fried corn patties that are split open and filled with cheese, vegetables or meat.




Carmen’s secret is that she makes her arepas super fresh: When she sees a customer walk in the door, she starts making the patties from cornmeal, salt and water. She pats them into shape, fries them on a griddle with a bit of oil, and finishes them in the oven.
There’s beer and wine on this menu, but a more memorable drink is the papelón con límon, a traditional Venezuelan limeade spiked with molasses.

Extra hungry? Arepera Guacuco serves traditional Venezualen plates, prices $10-$13, of asopados de mariscos, a seafood mix with soupy rice, or a carite frito, grilled king fish, with a touch of garlic, rice and a choice of salad or sweet plantains. Empanadas, desserts, and natural fruit drinks are also served.


Arepera Guacuco
44 Irving Ave
Bushwick, Brooklyn
L train to Jefferson St.