Musicians behind Despacito demand Venezuelan leader stop using hit song as 'propaganda'

Musicians behind Despacito demand Venezuelan leader stop using hit song as 'propaganda'

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.

But Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee on Monday said they do not approve at all. "Despacito!" the altered lyrics go. "At no point was I ever consulted, nor have I authorized the use or change of lyrics of "Despacito" for political ends, much less in the midst of the deplorable situation that is taking place in a country I love as much as Venezuela".

Maduro's appropriation of the hit was quickly criticized by Fonsi, who wrote that his music "is for all those who want to enjoy it, not to use as propaganda".

Daddy Yankee also reacted and said, "What can you expect?"

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"Illegally appropriating a song doesn't compare to the crimes you are committing and have committed in Venezuela", one of the two, Daddy Yankee, wrote on his Instagram feed, directly addressing Maduro. "With that nefarious marketing plan, you will only continue to highlight your fascist ideal, which has killed hundreds of heroes and injured more than 2,000".

Millions of Venezuelans have been staging months of protests against Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader narrowly elected to replace the late Hugo Chavez in 2013.

Maduro is pressing forward with his pledge to hold a July 30 election to select delegates to a special assembly that will be tasked with rewriting the troubled nation's constitution. "To see that a song that I co-authored is being used without permission to publicize campaigns linked to a regime that has a discontent and suffering country". Ahead of the 48-hour strike, opposition leaders have encouraged Venezuelans to stock up on food and other goods - a call echoed by the USA embassy in Venezuela.

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