Latin superstar Alejandro Sanz was blocked from playing a concert in Caracas, Venezuela, because he criticized President Hugo Chavez three years ago, education minister Luis Acuna said.

Sanz was scheduled to perform November 1st at the Poliedro – a state controlled stadium – but the show has been canceled. The Latin Grammy-winning singer, who is extremely popular in Venezuela, would have been allowed to perform in a privately held venue, Acuna said.

The education minister gave no reason why the government initially agreed to the concert at the Poliedro, which was expected to draw up to 15,000.

“If an artist comes to Venezuela to rail against Chavez, against the Bolivarian project [a Latin American political movement], how do you think the people of this country would respond if he were to be allowed to use” the stadium, Acuna said.

Sanz got himself into hot water with Chavez three years ago when he responded to questions about the Venezuelan president by saying, “I don’t like your president. I don’t like those from other places either.”