Musicians behind Despacito demand Venezuelan leader stop using hit song as 'propaganda'

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Muslim-majority Malaysia has stopped playing the sexually charged song "Despacito" on public broadcast stations, a senior minister said Thursday after critics labelled it un-Islamic.

President Nicolas Maduro presented an altered version during his weekly television show on Sunday.

A remix of Despacito has figured prominently in Mr Maduro's campaign for this Sunday's vote, which will elect a "constituent assembly" to redraft the constitution over the heads of the opposition-controlled parliament.

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Indeed, not only has no song ever matched the 16 weeks at No. 1 of "One Sweet Day", none has ever even come within a week of that record: 14 weeks marks the silver-medal finish shared by "Uptown Funk!" and six other singles, dating back to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" in 1992-'93.

On Monday, Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, both of whom are Puerto Rican, spoke out against Maduro's use of their hit song on social media.

98 percent of respondents to a recent poll said they opposed the constitutional assembly, which would have the power to dissolve the National Assembly.

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The young canadian singer Justin Bieber whispers the first verse, as out of breath, then sings a little later in Spanish.

"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 continued. 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".

Thanks to falling oil prices and corruption, Venezuela's government and economy have spent the last two years or so in a death spiral, and Maduro has said his very unpopular plan is the only way to bring peace to the country.

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Maduro is pressing forward with his pledge to hold a July 30 election to select delegates to a special assembly that will be tasked with rewriting the troubled nation's constitution despite global outcry and a protest movement that has left at least 97 dead.

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