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. 2017's song of the summer, it's also the most streamed song of all time, racking up 4.6 billion plays.
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. 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.
"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 added.
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"That you illegally appropriate a song [Despacito] doesn't compare with the crime you commit and have committed in Venezuela".
"Your dictatorial regime is a joke, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the entire world".
The new lyrics go on like this: "Our call to the "Constituent Assembly" only seeks to unite the country". During the 2016 USA presidential election, artists such as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and Adele slammed Donald Trump for playing their music at campaign events, while Queen famously ordered the NY real estate mogul to stop using "We Are the Champions" during his appearances.
Maduro and his leftwing government have been strongly criticised by several big Latin American nations, including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, for pushing on with the plan to change Venezuela's constitution.