An empty gesture

Updated 30 December 2016
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An empty gesture

This refers to the article “UN vote a slap at Netanyahu rather than defense of peace” (Dec. 29) by Ray Hanania. As a matter of fact, the Obama administration’s act against Israel in the last phase of his office is like a storm in the teacup. Obama should have done more before so that there might have been a greater chance for a two-state solution for Palestine.
In the last phase of Obama’s office it will have no effect on Israel and all endeavors will go to waste once Trump joins the office on Jan. 20. Obama in his eight years in the office has done nothing for the cause of Palestine and Sunni Muslim countries, rather Sunni Muslim countries have suffered a lot during his tenure. Gaza in 2014 faced a severe war with Israel for 50 days and in this process more than 2,000 innocent Palestinians were killed. Even after the span of more than two years there is no normalcy in Gaza. For all these barbaric acts of Israel, Obama was the silent spectator and did nothing and issued only flowery comments. In the Syrian war, an estimated 400,000 people have been killed and more than 11 million have been displaced; innocent children’s lives have been ruined with well-planned programs by the tyrant regime of Assad.
Innocent civilians’ valuable property has been looted and destroyed, their peace has been robbed, and for all these miseries Obama’s office is responsible as he did not pay heed to the plight of innocent Syrian civilians over five years. Russia entered into the fray and turned the situation in favor of Assad, and both of them annihilated the Syrian situation totally. Even with Assad crossing the red line, Obama did nothing. Apart from this, Obama’s office is responsible for drone attacks in Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, in which mostly innocent civilians have perished and the drone campaign was less effective against terrorist organizations.
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is waging war against the Houthis, but Obama’s office has a soft spot for the fascist Houthi faction, and was pondering to stop the supply of arms to Saudi Arabia.
On the other side, it is evident to the world that Iran wants to create hegemony in Middle East, stoking terror activities in these regions through its proxies like Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Iraq Shiite militias. But Obama’s office in this dire and scary situation lifted the ban on Iran, which emboldens it to carry out its nefarious activities further. Hence, not to veto the Israeli vote for its illegal settlement in the last phase of Obama’s office is not a big deal. It is only a temporary hiccup which can be easily bypassed by Trump when he assumes office on Jan. 20.


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