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December 14, 2017
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Maduro’s Despacito remix backfires

CARACAS — Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to use Latino chartbusting hit Despacito to inject some cool into his controversial move to redraw the Constitution backfired this week.

Maduro’s government on Sunday promoted a remixed version of Despacito to encourage Venezuelans to vote for the Constituent Assembly, which will have powers to rewrite the national charter and supersede other institutions.

“Our call to the Constituent Assembly only seeks to unite the country... Despacito!” goes the Socialist Party-sanctioned remix of the catchy dance song, which was played during Maduro’s weekly televised show.

“What do you think, eh? Is this video approved?” a grinning and clapping Maduro called out to the crowd, which cheered back in approval.

But Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee immediately hit back, saying they do not approve at all.

“At no point was I asked, nor did I authorise, the use or the change in lyrics of Despacito for political ambitions, and much less in the middle of a deplorable situation that Venezuela, a country I love so much, is living,” Fonsi said in a message posted on Twitter.

Daddy Yankee, meanwhile, posted a picture of Maduro with a big red cross over it on Instagram.

“That you illegally appropriate a song does not compare with the crimes you commit and have committed in Venezuela. Your dictatorial regime is a joke, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the entire world,” he said. “With this nefarious marketing plan, you only highlight your fascist ideal.”

—Reuters

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