Entertainment

Luis Fonsi And Daddy Yankee Want Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro To Stop Using ‘Despacito’

This week, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Erika Ender, a co-writer for “Despacito,” all protested the use of their hit song for being remixed as political propaganda. The creators of the song made it specifically clear that they didn’t want the song to be used for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s political purposes. The country, which is struggling economically, has gone through several protests that have claimed the lives of over 100 people.

The song, which has remained at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for 11 weeks running, was recently used by Venezuelan President Maduro to push his political agenda.

Credit: @arabthomness / Twitter

Not only is the song stomping over its initial jovial message of love, it also sounds pretty awful.

Luis Fonsi made his discontent clear, posting this message about the song being used for political manipulation.

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A post shared by Luis Fonsi (@luisfonsi) on

In this post from his Instagram this week, Luis Fonsi, denounced the use of his song for political gain, especially in the case of Venezuela which, as he says, is screaming for its freedom.

“I have repeatedly said how much I enjoy the versions that have come out of ‘Despacito’ worldwide, however I think there should be a limit.

At no time have I been consulted, nor have I authorized the use or change of lyrics of ‘Despacito’ for political purposes, much less amid the deplorable situation in a country that I love as much as #Venezuela.

My music is for all those who want to listen to it and enjoy it, not to use it as propaganda that tries to manipulate the will of a people who are crying out for their freedom and a better future. #SosVenezuela #ImWithVenezuela”

Daddy Yankee didn’t mince words, saying exactly how he felt about Maduro.

Yankee called Maduro out as a dictator and criminal and joined in on his co-author’s sentiments.

“What can you expect? Of a person who has stolen so many lives from young dreamers, and of people who all they are looking for is a better future for their children. That you illegally appropriated a song (Despacito), does not compare with the crimes you commit and have committed in Venezuela. It is a mockery, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the whole world your dictatorial regime. With that nefarious marketing plan, you will only continue to highlight your fascist ideals, which have killed hundreds of heroes and injured more than 2,000. As co-author of the song, I also join the expressions of the co-author of the song “Despacito” @ErikaEnder #NotApproved #EnoughAlready #FreeVenezuela ??”

Erika Ender, co-author of the song, was also vocal about Maduro’s use of the song.

Co-author Erika Ender made an impassioned statement, disavowing the use of the song as a tool for the regime.

“I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS. I can not see so much pain in people I love so much. Warrior people, people with iron will… Good people, who are fighting for freedom of rights and expression… I love Venezuela, a land that has given me true brothers in my heart. Brothers who suffer because of the situation that exists. Seeing that a song, which I have co-authorship of, is being used without permission to advertise campaigns linked to a regime that has a country unhappy and suffering, and far from rejoicing, I am indignant and I DO NOT APPROVE its use. #ErikaEnder”

Maduro’s version of the song is to promote Maduro calling for a July 30th vote to elect a Constituent Assembly, which the opposition is already planning on demonstrating against in protests which are expected to turn again turn violent.

An unfortunate turn for a song about dancing, the beach, and love.


[H/T] Billboard

READ: The Streets Of Caracas And Other Major Cities In Venezuela Are Empty Because Of A Nationwide Strike


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Colombians Are Starting To Turn On Venezuelan Refugees In Their Country And Here’s Why

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Colombians Are Starting To Turn On Venezuelan Refugees In Their Country And Here’s Why

A Cubillo / Photo Alliance

Colombia and Venezuela have long had a close relationship in terms of culture, financial cooperation and migratory patterns. The recent years of economic struggle in Venezuela, product of the Chavista policies instituted by both the late Hugo Chavez and incumbent president Nicolas Maduro, added to US economic sanctions, have triggered a mass migration towards Colombia and other neighboring countries. Added to escalating prices for even the most basic commodities, shortage in basic services such as water, gas and electricity, and what international bodies have deemed as State repression, Venezuelans, particularly in the capital city of Caracas, have had to survive on criminal activity that does not only target the rich, but also those most vulnerable. 

It is estimated that as many as a million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years. This is a massive number if we consider that the overall population of the country is roughly 31 million. While some of the richest Venezuelans have migrated to cities such as Miami and Tampa in the United States, or countries like Australia and Canada, economic migrants and refugees have looked at the neighboring Colombia as a new home. While most Colombians have been accommodating, understanding that forced exile is born out of need and not wickedness, there is an increasing number who is feeling frustrated with the current situation and are blaming Venezuelan migrants for it. Remember, when things go wrong human beings tend to blame those who are different. 

The protests in Colombia highlighted the social and economic problems being faced by the country.

Credit: Al Jazeera Latin America

The recent wave of protests in Colombia, particularly in the capital city of Bogota, have put the spotlight on the socioeconomic differences that have made society increasingly polarized. The crackdown on unions, students and activists has also brought attention to the increasingly repressive methods of the Ivan Duque presidency.

Added to this, violence against vulnerable groups is increasing, as reported by Al Jazeera: “Tension has been simmering for months amid discontent over inequality, education and Duque’s slow implementation of a 2016 peace deal, which was signed between the previous government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and brought an end to 50 years of fighting. More than 750 indigenous leaders and human rights activists have been killed in Colombia over the past two years, according to local think-tank INDEPAZ.”

The current climate is ripe for a conflict that could last for years if all the involved parties fail to reach even the most basic of agreements. Frustration is running high. And we know that frustration is usually a trigger for discrimination.

So some people are blaming the increased influx of Venezuelan migrants and refugees.

In a recent article published by Reuters, a side effect of the conflicted political climate in Colombia was brought to attention: the growing discrimination against Venezuelan migrants.

In the article, a young Venezuelan called Daniels Herrera told journalist Steven Grattan how he and other migrants have heard people blame Venezuelans for the Colombia’s troubles, claiming that it is Venezuelans who run the country. This has made Herrera and others like him feel unsafe even if coming from Caracas, by all accounts one of the most dangerous cities in the world. They have decided to remain silent, speak as little as possible so their accent won’t give them away.

This basically leads to situations such as the one that African and Middle Eastern refugees are living in Europe, where xenophobia is high and a cruel reminder of the division that led unspeakable atrocities during the Second World War.  

Discrimination is a quick slippery slope.

The Reuters article explains that the looting and vandalism that has been triggered by the protests is now being blamed on Venezuelan migrants, which of course has gotten the most conservative members of Colombian society all riled up. They have been quick to point fingers, as Reuters argues: “Non-governmental organizations and researchers say rumors blaming Venezuelan migrants for isolated looting and vandalism connected to the protests have caused a sharp rise in xenophobia over the last 10 days. Posts on social media and messages forwarded on messaging application WhatsApp – many mentioning Venezuelans – stoked panic among Bogota residents on the night of the curfew, as the city’s emergency line was inundated with calls reporting residential break-ins that police say never happened.”

Discrimination and panic are fires that are hard to put out once they start burning. Now Venezuelans are fearful that they will become the scapegoats for whatever goes wrong in Colombia. Discrimination starts on the street level, as part of everyday talk, but can very rapidly become instituted in policies that result in unfair judicial processes and policing that singles out individuals due to their accent or physical appearance. Does this sound familiar to those Latinos living in the United States, where Brown and Black folk are often targeted by the authorities? 

Daddy Yankee Opened A Museum Dedicated To His Career In Puerto Rico And Fans Are So Excited

Entertainment

Daddy Yankee Opened A Museum Dedicated To His Career In Puerto Rico And Fans Are So Excited

@tatty_yankee / Twitter

Yup. You read that right. Thanks to Daddy Yankee, there is now a Daddy Yankee pop up museum in Puerto Rico. Last week, the reggaetonero announced the opening of an exhibit dedicated to himself, called El Jefe Museum, in the Plaza Las Américas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the last week alone, over 11,000 people have registered to gain free access to the museum, which opened Thursday and will be available until Jan. 15, 2020. Museum-goers will get a chance to see “the first museum in the world that tells part of the history of Reggaeton through the eyes of Daddy Yankee,” according to the ticket website.

As much as the museum honors reggaeton, visitors also get to see photos of El Cangri when he was just un bebé.

Visitors with tickets will be taken on an hour-long tour of the El Jefe Museum.

CREDIT: @NURIADDY/ TWITTER

You have to reserve a ticket ahead of time, but the access is todo gratis, mis cangris. That said, for some reason, you need to arrive an hour early in order to process your ticket. Then, you’ll be taken on an hour-long professional tour of the 8,000 square foot exhibit that recreates the barrio Daddy Yankee grew up in. The set is designed to look exactly like his old neighborhood, to give us all a chronological tour of Daddy Yankee’s rags to riches life story.  According to the ticket website, visitors also get to see “scenographies, important moments of his career, his music, exclusive interview for the museum, awards, costumes of unique moments in his career and in the history of the urban genre, even the events that have led him to be an icon of music throughout the world.”

The exhibit will feature his childhood photos to the medals he’s received through his career.

CREDIT: @DADDY_YANKEEBR / TWITTER

Some of his very first outfits worn on the stage in 1991 will be on display, alongside the Daddy-Yankee-imprinted Vans, and more. The event advertises “interactive technology where the public can feel those memorable moments of the legend of Puerto Rico and will have a special technology so that each person can take a personalized memory of this experience.” That technology appears to be allowing fans to customize their own Daddy Yankee branded, limited edition cap. By the end of their tour, they can take home their custom cap as memorabilia from the experience.

In a video posted to his Instagram during the grand opening, El Jefe shares a photo of him when he was just a lil jefecito.

CREDIT: @DADDYYANKEE / TWITTER

“HIGH HONOR Student,” El Jefe writes in the caption, “The only difference is that in these times, I pray with great faith to have that voluminous mane again. 😂” Daddy Yankee may have a museum dedicated in his honor, but he’s ensured to shine a spotlight on his roots. “What keeps me grounded is always remembering where I come from,” he told People en Español. “I go to Villa Kennedy, and I remember where it all began,” he says of the low-income state-funded housing replicated in the on-set version of Barrio Obrero, where he grew up, and where reggaeton all started.

Fans are already expressing their gratitude to El Cangri for the learning opportunity.

CREDIT: @LEGALMENTEPRIS / TWITTER

One fan said she arrived a full two hours before her tour out of pure excitement. “I’m dying SLOWLY OF EMOTION!!!, ” she tweeted in Spanish, “@Daddy_Yankee I’ve already been here since 9 waiting for them to open.” “To you, it will be a simple photo on a wall full of photos of DY,” tweeted one of today’s visitors, “But for me today, seeing this man’s whole career inspires me to never give up. @daddy_yankee I will always be your fan from the beginning to the end! #DaddyYankeeMuseum”

Faraway fans are considering a trip out to Puerto Rico to get the official tour.

CREDIT: @TATTY_YANKEE / TWITTER

“I think if I had the chance to go to #DaddyYankeeMuseum I would full cry people … and seeing [the photos] fill my eyes with tears…@daddy_yankee i take pride in you,” tweets “Tatty Yankee” (@Tatty_Yankee). Given that Daddy Yankee just sold out ten performances at Puerto Rico’s El Choli, making him the venue’s highest audience attendance male solo artist in history, we imagine free tickets to his pop-up museum exhibit will sell out fast.

You can reserve your free ticket here to see how el jefecito became El Jefe.

READ: Nicky Jam And Daddy Yankee Allegedly Had To Flee Puerto Rico After Death Threats