Venezuelan President Repurposes 'Despacito' Ahead Of Sunday Vote

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Luis Fonsi's “Despacito” becomes Most Streamed Song Ever

Maduro has called for a vote on July 30 to elect a special assembly that is to draft a new constitution.

Despite a years-long political and economic deterioration and months of violence, Maduro has maintained about 20% support among Venezuelans, but his constituent assembly has been rejected by an overwhelming majority of the country and drawn global rebuke.

Supporters attending the rally joined in the cheer by dancing, clapping, and waving Venezuelan flags as Maduro played the remixed song.

Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee branded it an outrage.

It didn't take long for "Despacito", the catchy hit by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, to become the undisputed song of the summer.

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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. More than 90 people have lost their lives in the protests, which could increase as Sunday's elections get closer.

"For the unity and peace of our country. the constituent [assembly] goes on", begins the song, which you can see in the video below. "At no time I've been consulted, nor I've authorized the use or change of Despacito's lyrics for political purposes, much less in the deplorable situation that a country that I love as much as Venezuela is in", he said.

Maduro's appropriation of the hit was quickly criticized by Fonsi, who wrote that his music "is for all those who want to enjoy it, not to use as propaganda". He also said that Maduro illegally using a song does not compare to the crimes he is committing and has committed in Venezuela. On Thursday last week, a general strike left streets empty and businesses across the country closed.

The U.S. has also expressed concern over the assembly, with President Donald Trump claiming that America "will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles", and promised to impose "swift economic actions" on Venezuela should Maduro not listen to his people. The constituent assembly would give the government power to rewrite the constitution.

"I urge the opposition: 'Don't go insane, calm down.' As president of the republic, I make a call for peace", he said following the result.

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