Unrest in Ferguson

Updated 28 November 2014

Unrest in Ferguson

The riots in US city Ferguson have become a major challenge for US judicial system. It is a grim reminder of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in the early 90s.
Ferguson appears to be a war zone after the jury’s decision. Heavy deployment of security forces, acts of arson and firing of tear gas is a rare occurrence in the United States.
Despite US President Barack Obama’s call for calm and respect for the jury’s decision, protests have spread in more than 30 cities including New York, Los Angeles and California. In major cities, protesters are taking to the streets chanting slogans against the decision.
In a statement Brown’s family said that the decision of the jury was heart-breaking, painful and that justice was not done. In a public conference Brown’s parents and local African-American leaders called for reforms and more accountability in the current legal system.
Schism appears to be widening between African-Americans and the local community. US first African-American President Obama is trying hard to calm down the situation. After heavy criticism about militarization of the local police and use of heavy force against African American community things are getting from bad to worse. Only a week ago another black teenager was shot dead by police for allegedly having a fake gun in his possession. Political observers think that killing of Michael Brown in not the only reason for the current unrest. Poverty and unemployment are rising among the African-Americans and some people who are involved in rioting are taking advantage of the present situation for their own benefit. — Khawaja Umer Farooq, Jeddah


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017

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