The stars behind the worldwide smash Latin pop hit Despacito have slammed Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro for using the song for his political benefits.
Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee have branded it an offence and called on Maduro for using reworked version of the song to promote a controversial vote he is organising.
"At no point was I asked, nor did I authorise, the use or the change in lyrics of Despacito for political means, and much less so in the middle of the deplorable situation experienced by Venezuela, a country I love so much," Luis Fonsi said on Instagram on Monday (24 July).
"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 on the social media site.
Daddy Yankee, another artist behind the global hit, posted a picture of the socialist leader with a large red cross over it on his Instagram. He captioned the picture, saying: "That you illegally appropriate a song [Despacito] 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."
According to reports, President Maduro has appropriated the song for a controversial new citizen's assembly, which will be elected on Sunday to rewrite the constitution.
He presented the reworked version of the song during his weekly television show on 23 July. He was seen clapping along to the remix, as his audience danced to the altered number.
The new lyrics go on like this: "Our call to the 'Constituent Assembly' only seeks to unite the country ... Despacito!" completely changing the original essence of the song.
Maduro has also applauded the creative group, who reworked on the song and asked the audience what they thought about it, the BBC reported.
Venezuela political crisis
The new development comes amid the ongoing protests in the country, which has been facing a political turmoil for the past several months.
Anti-government demonstrations started in the country in early April after the Supreme Court annulled the opposition-dominated National Assembly and removed lawmakers' immunity.
Although the court retracted the ruling, there is still widespread anger against the government.
About a 100 people have died in political clashes and hundreds have been injured in several rallies over the past four months.
Protests intensified in May after Maduro called for a rewrite of the country's constitution in a bid to control the ongoing protests against his government. He has said that only the new constitution will help Venezuela out of its economic and political crisis.
Maduro has argued that only a new constitution can "neutralise" the opposition and defeat "coup-plotters", which would lead to peace in the country.
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. They also believe that it is a "coup" by the government, which would further weaken the National Assembly – Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislative body.