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

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"That you illegally appropriate a song (Despacito) does not compare with the crimes you commit and have committed in Venezuela", he added.

"Despacito", which means "very slowly" in Spanish, is a song very popular since its release in January.

On Sunday, Maduro used a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" to promote his vision for the Constituent Assembly.

But Malaysia's officially not having it. State-run television and radio stations yanked the track after officials said people were complaining about the song's racy lyrics.

Justin Bieber, who features on the remix, has been pushed into second place with his song "Sorry" on 4.38bn streams. Now with over 4.6 billion streams and continuing to grow, the song passed Bieber's own Sorry, which had 4.38 billion, and Ed Sheeran's Shape of You with 4.07 billion. Luis Fonsi was the first to respond, saying he did not authorize or was asked for the use or the change of the lyrics of his song.

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"What can you expect from a person who has robbed the lives of so many young people filled with dreams?"

"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".

"Your dictatorial regime is not only a mockery for my Venezuelan brothers but for the entire world", he said in an Instagram post Monday.

Venezuela has been shaken by often violent protests in recent months, and millions joined a general strike last week. The government has downplayed the referendum and has continued its plans for the constituent assembly.

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. Those in favor of rewriting the constitution, however, say the president is simply hoping to restore peace in his fractured country.

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