[clug] free software in venezuela

Ambrose Andrews ambrose.andrews at anu.edu.au
Sat Oct 2 07:21:07 GMT 2004


Chavez Announces that Venezuelan State Will Switch to "Free Software"
Wednesday, Sep 29, 2004

By: Gregory Wilpert – Venezuelanalysis.com

Caracas, September 29, 2004—President Chavez announced yesterday that
"we are working on a decree to establish in Venezuela, in an official
and obligatory manner, the support and adoption of free software in
the public administration."

Chavez made this announcement during an event at which he opened
numerous "info centers," public internet access points, throughout the

The objective of this decree is for Venezuela to achieve technological
and informational independence. Free software is software that is
distributed free of charge. The best known example of this is the
Linux operating system, which has become the world's most important
challenger to the Microsoft Windows operating system.

During the event, the Minister of Science and Technology, Yadira
Cordoba, said that "all info centers are working with free software.
The Digital Town Hall, in which 81 municipalities [out of just over
300] have incorporated themselves, also operate with free software and
also the entire platform of the Ministry of Science and Technology
runs on free software."

Chavez added that the decision follows the principle of "national
scientific independence, so that we do not depend on privately owned
software. If knowledge does not have owners, then intellectual
property is a trap set by neo-liberalism."

The event at which Chavez announced the free software decree was an
occasion to open a new mega info center, with sixty internet connected
computers, and numerous regular info centers, which have ten computers
each. The openings were transmitted on television with connections
being made between the presidential palace and the info centers in
different parts of the country.

With information from Prensa Presidencial

Ambrose Andrews
Research Assistant
Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management Centre (iCAM)
School of Resources, Environment and Society
Building 48a, Linnaeus Way
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia

T: +61 2 6215 6749
M: 0415 544 621
W: http://icam.anu.edu.au/

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