Blank check to Israel

Updated 26 January 2017
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Blank check to Israel

We have learned that in a very warm phone call on Sunday evening, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly discussed military, security and intelligence cooperation between the two countries. Trump has characterized the talks between him and Netanyahu as “very nice.” The Israeli news media was filled with speculation on Sunday that the Trump administration would immediately announce the US Embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Even during former President Barack Obama’s administration, Israel was receiving military aid to the tune of $38 billion despite the not-so-cordial relations between him and Netanyahu so one can imagine now how far this will reach. Encouraged by Trump’s comments, the Jerusalem Municipality has already announced the building of 566 new settler homes in three areas in occupied East Jerusalem, adding that the permits had been delayed as the authorities waited for Obama’s term to end.
It looks as if Trump has given Israel a blank check to do whatever it likes. The UN has always been a “talk shop” and nothing else and under Trump, it will face more ridicule from the new administration. We read about the president’s comments about the world body during his election campaign and know how nasty they were. I pity the helpless Palestinians, thinking of what is in store for them during the coming four years — if Trump lasts that long.
Sadly, Muslim and Arab countries are experiencing their own conflicts and disunity as they face this testing period. This is the time they need to be proactive and united. God bless the Palestinians!


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