Smoking problem

Updated 08 February 2015
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Smoking problem

This is with reference to the report “65% of secondary schoolgirls smoke” (Feb. 8). It is an alarming trend and needs to be checked at the earliest. According to the report, exposure to western and social media is to be blamed for this trend. It is partially true. It is high time we stopped the habit of passing the buck to others. It is a social problem that requires an in-depth analysis of the situation so as to identify the underlying factors behind this trend.
Smoking is equally injurious to men and women. But the situation becomes even worse in the case of the latter, as they are the mothers of future. According to scientific research, long-term smoking causes changes to the DNA, which consequently gives rise to several health problems in children of smoking mothers.
Instead of adopting a harsh policy to curb this practice, there is a great need for educating children about the hazards of smoking.
Rabia Ahmed
Riyadh


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia