Venezuela President Assailed for Political Remix of Song ‘Despacito’

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President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela is eager to rewrite his country’s Constitution, a plan that has ignited outrage among the opposition and condemnation from international watchdog groups.

But it was the rewriting of something else — the lyrics to the hit song “Despacito” — that drew condemnation this week, after the song’s creators saw footage of Mr. Maduro using an altered version of their song at one of his political events.

At a televised rally on Sunday, Mr. Maduro clapped along as the altered version of the song played in the background, with lyrics extolling his plans to overhaul the country’s Constitution.

According to Mr. Maduro, the new version of the song was produced by a group of “creative people,” and he wondered aloud if it would go viral. Video from the event, which was broadcast on the television station of the Venezuelan government, showed Mr. Maduro smiling as supporters in matching outfits swayed to the music.

“Exercise your vote instead of shooting, and go with your ideas in peace,” the revised lyrics say. “Our call to the ‘Constituent Assembly’ only seeks to unite the country … Despacito!”

“Despacito,” which means slowly in Spanish, is a song about the art of seduction, and does not make reference to politics.

The remix made its debut one week before a planned vote to elect a Constituent Assembly to redraft the Constitution.

Mr. Maduro has undertaken a series of measures intended to consolidate his power, prompting months of widespread and sometimes violent protests.

The singers of the original hit song, which was also recorded by Justin Bieber, did not take kindly to Mr. Maduro’s appropriation of their music.

The Puerto Rican musicians Luis Alfonso López-Cepero, known as Luis Fonsi, and Ramón Ayala Rodríguez, who goes by the stage name Daddy Yankee, demanded that Mr. Maduro stop using their song for his political benefit.

“He has not consulted me at any moment, nor have I authorized the use or change of the words of Despacito for political purposes, much less amid the deplorable situation in a country that I love as much as Venezuela,” Mr. López-Cepero wrote in an Instagram post.

He called Mr. Maduro’s use of the tune “propaganda that tries to manipulate the will of a people who are crying out for their freedom and a better future.”

Mr. Rodríguez had equally harsh words for the leader, which accompanied an Instagram post with a photo of Mr. Maduro with a large “X” over his face.

“That you illegally appropriated a song (Despacito), does not compare with the crime you commit and have committed in Venezuela,” he wrote. “It is a mockery, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the whole world.”