The Puerto Rican duo behind the worldwide smash Latin pop hit Despacito slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for "illegally" using their song to promote a controversial vote he is organising.
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It didn't take long for "Despacito", the catchy hit by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, to become the undisputed song of the summer. Maduro presented an altered version of the global hit during his television show on Sunday.
"At no point have I been consulted, nor have I authorized the use or the change of lyrics to "Despacito" for political purposes, much less in the middle of the deplorable situation facing a country I love as much as Venezuela", Fonsi wrote in a Spanish-language statement shared on his social-media accounts. He continued: "My music is for all of those who want to listen and enjoy it, not to use as propaganda for those who try to manipulate the will of the people, who are crying out for their freedom and a better future".
It is now the third most viewed YouTube video with 2.7 billion views, behind See You Again by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth and Psy's Gangnam Style. Meanwhile, clashes between the government and protesters against the so-called "constituent assembly" have turned extremely violent, with at least 100 people dead in the fighting as of last week. "Your dictatorial regime is a joke, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the entire world", he said.
But opposition leaders fear that the president's move towards a constitutional shake-up would delay this year's regional elections and next year's presidential election.