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President Hugo Chávez announced that the government will decree the use of free software in all of the public administration entities. He indicated that “we are working on a decree to establish in Venezuela the official and obligatory promotion and adoption of free software for the public administration”. The purpose of this measure is to achieve technological independence, “Brazil has already announced it and Venezuela is heading in the same direction”

The minister of science and technology, Yadira Córdoba indicated that “all the computer centers, the Digital City Government project -with the participation of 81 municipalities-, as well as the whole platform of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) are working with free software”

The MCT has been training its employees and giving seminars, in Venezuela and abroad, on this type of software. “We have not wanted to impose its use abruptly, because it would imply a change of vision and of culture. On the contrary, we want to incorporate this software progressively, and I think that with the work we have been carrying out for a year, there are enough conditions to take this step”, she said.

Chávez insisted that his decision is motivated by “an aim for national scientific independence, for not depending on software that have proprietors. If knowledge has no proprietors, then intellectual property is a snare of neo-liberalism”

Published in Quantum No. 34