Venezuela’s president is trying to harness the power of viral reggaeton to bolster his authoritarian government, and the “Despacito” artists aren’t pleased.
President Nicolás Maduro broadcast a version of the hit song “Despacito” on state TV on Sunday, encouraging Venezuelans to vote for a new group to rewrite the constitution. The original song, by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, was made more famous by a Justin Bieber remix, becoming the most-streamed song ever.
Fonsi and Daddy Yankee slammed Maduro on social media for using the song without permission and criticized his “dictatorial regime.”
Thousands are protesting Maduro’s government during a crippling economic crisis. Roughly 100 have died in the protests since April.