The writer of Ricky Martin's hit "The Cup of Life" was outraged when he found out the singer will perform the song at an inaugural celebration for George W. Bush on Thursday.
But Robi "Draco" Rosa's anger isn't directed at Martin, he said. Rather, he feels as if the Republican Party is using Latinos for political gain.
"It's about Bush using my song and Latinos and Ricky as pawns," Rosa said Friday (January 12). "I'm not going to be a monkey performing at the palace. I'm all for celebrating with my people, but only when it's for something real."
Rosa issued a statement through his publicist on Friday criticizing the Bush camp for using the song.
"This is a president who would have people in his Cabinet who would obstruct the exercise of civil rights, human rights, consumer rights, the right to choose, the right to be free of gun violence and the right to a clean environment," Rosa said in the statement. "This is a betrayal of everything that every Puerto Rican should stand for."
Rosa said he's been trying to reach Martin, a fellow Menudo alumnus, since he found out about the inaugural event Thursday. While he said he doesn't plan to ask Martin not to sing the song, he's curious as to why the singer agreed to do it in the first place.
He added that he doesn't expect this to affect his relationship with Martin. "This isn't about the record business," he said.
In addition to his own successful rock en español career, Rosa has received four Grammy nominations for his work with Martin as producer and songwriter, including the smash "Livin' la Vida Loca" .
Rosa also expressed his discontent when the GOP used "The Cup of Life" during its national convention last August. Martin will sing the song at an inauguration gala called Celebration of America's Spirit Together at the Lincoln Memorial, according to a statement from his publicist.
Martin was unavailable for comment at press time.