Old San Juan the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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Puerto Ricans Rejoice As Power Slowly Returns To The Island

The island begins recovery from a massive outage affecting 3.5 million people.

Puerto Rican residents are recovering after an extensive blackout hit the island early on Wednesday, according to Time. While neighborhood power outages aren't unheard of in Puerto Rico, massive blackouts are rather unusual; the recent power outage affected 3. 5 million people, forcing Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla to declare a state of emergency.

"While those with power celebrated a return to normalcy, others lamented having to face another night in darkness with no air conditioning in the tropical heat. Most Puerto Ricans don’t have generators, and many expected to once again drag mattresses out to balconies and porches to spend the night outside," says Danica Coto.

The island's economy has suffered an incredible crisis, owing more than $70 billion in debt, largely due to an extensive history of Spanish and U.S. colonialism (they were denied a federal bailout). As an American territory, Puerto Rico has as much higher poverty rate than any other U.S. state. For those residents that were able to afford it, hotels were packed with residents after they were being offered special rates during the crisis.

Gov. Garcia reported that at least one person died from exposure to carbon monoxide, while one 76-year-old man was taken to the hospital in good condition after being trapped in an elevator overnight.

According to the Electric Power Authority, a fire at the Aguirre power plant in the town of Salinas knocked out two important transmission lines that operated within the wider grid, causing circuit breakers to shut down immediately as a protective measure.

Gov. Garcia claims that suggestions of maintenance problems that have troubled the power plant are false, claiming the facility has been maintained for years, although the utility is $9 billion in debt, and under suspicion of corruption.

However, residents reject Garcia's explanation of the blackout. It's this rejection of political grandstanding that has pushed more Puerto Ricans to migrate to South Florida in lieu of the economic and political chaos plaguing the territory.

Hector Luis Pebellon, a sales manager in Caguas, contradicts Garcia's public statement. "But I was not surprised. This is something that we were expecting to happen soon. This is something that is caused by the lack of maintenance and the lack of money to invest in the infrastructure. For people that are considering moving from the island, things like this definitely push them further in order to go."

Pebellon's family is still without power.

 

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Puerto Rico Calls For Ban On Flights From Coronavirus Hot Spots

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico, Gov. Wanda Vázquez has inquired a possible ban on flights from popular cities in the United States due to the high number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Associated Press reports Gov. Vázquez launched the petition to the Federal Aviation Administration this week after officials accused tourists of taking medication to reduce their fevers and failing to adhere to the self-isolation rules. The incidents were later confirmed by GNPR general aide, General José Reyes.

The FAA reportedly granted a request for all flights to arrive at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMM), so that Puerto Rico National Guard (GNPR) could screen passengers arriving at the island.

“Now we want people from the areas most affected by Covid-19 not to arrive," Vázquez said. "This as part of the necessary measures to prevent this virus from spreading and affecting the health of the people of Puerto Rico."

As part of the proposal, Vázquez has listed flights from New York, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Illinois as "hot spots" of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, cases in Puerto Rico have sadly risen. The island has reported at least 24 deaths and 620 confirmed cases. Much like in cites like New York, a curfew was imposed on March 15 that closed non-essential businesses and ordered people to stay in their homes with the exception of grocery shopping or picking up medication.

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Cardi B attends "The Road to F9" Global Fan Extravaganza at Maurice A. Ferre Park on January 31, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
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Cardi B Assures Fans She Doesn't Have Coronavirus After Hospitalization

Cardi B has clarified her recent hospitalization had nothing to do with the current coronavirus outbreak.

The rapper took to Instagram Live to clear up the rumors after she shared a photo of her with an identity band from a hospital. “I’ve been very f***ing sick these past five days–not corona,” she said Thursday (April 2). “I have really bad stomach issues. I started throwing up; I took a pregnancy test cuz a b***h never f***ing knows.”

As she tried to find out what was wrong, fans went into a frenzy with claims of coronavirus. “I threw up seven times," she said. "I didn’t want to go to the hospital, I went to the hospital. I was sick and [press] ran with it, then my publicist hit me up and it ain’t nothing coronavirus-related, thank God!”

The possible stomachache may be connected to the singer's first world problems of finding a perfect chef. “I don’t have nobody to cook for me. I hired a chef two times and they were nasty and expensive,” she said.

In lighter news, the rapper confirmed proceeds of her viral "Coronavirus" track will benefit those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Yes! That's what [we're] going to do!" Cardi B tweeted last week. "Keep in mind you don’t get your money right away...but even months from now there would be families with financial issues for getting laid off due to the virus. We will donate!"

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Nicky Jam Shows The Good, The Bad And The Hustle In 'El Ganador' Bio-Series Trailer

It's been years in the making but Latinx superstar Nicky Jam is finally ready to share his truth with the authorized Netflix bio-series, Nicky Jam: El Ganador.

Sharing the trailer this week, the series will highlight Jam's journey in the music industry as well as the struggles he endured in the streets and more. The project is directed by acclaimed film and music video director Jessy Terrero and produced by Endemol Shine Boomdog, a division of Endemol Shine North America. The series will officially hit Netflix on April 21.

In the trailer, we see Jam in three stages: his youth, his rookie days in the game and the actual artist in the present. The creative take is bound to give fans another perspective of the Grammy-winning artist.

“I’ve been hearing from many of my fans on social media and when I talk with them in person, that they’ve been waiting for the chance to see ‘El Ganador’ in the U.S. on Netflix,” said Nicky Jam. “Now they will get to see it starting April 21 and I hope they enjoy it like so many others have across the world. I’m really proud of what we created.”

“I am excited about bringing this level of story-telling that is related to reggaeton music,” added Terrero. “The genre’s popularity gives our story and others like it the opportunity to reach a much larger audience. This is my mission with Cinema Giants. Nicky’s story is inspirational in so many ways. I am proud to be part of it.”

Jam recently celebrated another feat on the Billboard Latin charts. "Muevelo," his buzzy single with Daddy Yankee, reached No. 1 on both the Latín Airplay and Latin Rhythm Airplay charts. 

Check out the trailer for El Ganador up top and revisit our VIBE VIVA February cover story with Jam here. 

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