Jorge Rueda at the AP:
Venezuela’s science and technology ministry recently held the Latin American Free Software Installation Fair, an event promoting the use of the open-source Linux operating system and other nonproprietary programs over Microsoft’s Windows.
Groups of Linux users have been organizing similar events in other Latin American countries, including Argentina and Colombia, and the Venezuelan government has signed on as a promoter.
The technology ministry said the fair is part Venezuela’s move toward “technological sovereignty, and taking advantage of knowledge for building national scientific independence.”
(Venezuela President Hugo) Chavez, a vehement critic of the capitalist system, issued a decree in 2004 ordering all the country’s public institutions to actively move toward open-source alternatives, hoping to save millions of dollars.
Chavez says previous governments spent more on licensing fees for proprietary software than social programs to fight poverty.
Chavez hasn’t directly criticized Microsoft however, just multinational corporations in general.