Despacito singers slam Venezuela's president for 'illegal' use of song

Venezuela

Venezuela

"Despacito" means "slowly" in Spanish, but the song's swift rise to the top has been awesome.

Lyrics were altered to urge people to "vote" and ended with an exhortation to Venezuela to get behind an election he has called for next Sunday to choose a body to rewrite Venezuela's constitution.

Salleh Said Keruak, communications and multimedia minister, told AFP that his ministry received numerous complaints over the steamy lyrics of the reggaeton beat song that has won worldwide popularity. 2017's song of the summer, it's also the most streamed song of all time, racking up 4.6 billion plays.

In an Instagram post, Daddy Yankee, a Puerto Rican reggaetón star, shared a news story about Maduro with a big red cross drawn across it and accused the Venezuelan leader of using the song without permission.

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His co-singer on the hit, Luis Fonsi, issued a statement saying that "at no time was I consulted, nor did I authorise, the use or changes of the lyrics of Despacito for political ends".

"My music is for all those who want to listen to it and enjoy it, not to be used as propaganda that tries to manipulate the will of a people who are crying out for their freedom", he continued. 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. He captioned the picture, saying: "That you illegally appropriate a song [Despacito] does not compare with the crimes you commit and have committed in Venezuela".

"What can you expect of a person who has stolen so many lives", asked Daddy Yankee. The constituent assembly would give the government power to rewrite the constitution.

The new development comes amid the ongoing protests in the country, which has been facing a political turmoil for the past several months.

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