GNU/Linux in Venezuela

GNU/Linux share according to Statcounter has been hovering around a few percent for a long time but in 2012 it took off with 40% increase in share in one year. It’s probably too soon to be some effect of the death of Chavez so it’s likely a result of something his government set in motion.

In the last few years, Venezuela has

It looks to me as if the Chavez regime has kindled a fire in Venezuela which will not soon be quenched. Fueled by oil and political will anything is possible. I expect such endeavours will spread to Cuba, Iran and other friendly nations and may well accelerate the moves to GNU/Linux elsewhere in South America. 2013 is a great year.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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9 Responses to GNU/Linux in Venezuela

  1. oiaohm says:


    –You think that our level of unemployment decreased, but also decreased the “quality jobs”, and if we add “low quality employment + high inflation + high levels of insecurity + continuous devaluation of the currency + political discourse generates division, resentment and hatred from the poorest to the middle and upper class ” what do we get? “Low quality of life”, that simple.–

    Sounds lot like Australia except for the currency problems. High inflation and Continuous devaluation.

    The continuous devaluation of currency is a historic way Greece use to get feet back under itself.

    I am not saying it does not sux to live in a country where government decided to evaluate currency it does. Because overnight your standard of living based on imported products goes down.

    Cristopher now your drop in quality of living is directly based on how much your country is self sufficient. If you quality of living was based on all made in your country product products and those producers were also dependant on all made in your country items. The moving currency would have basically changed nothing.

    Devaluing currency is particularly about stopping people depending on imported items and producing more locally. Yes its a sledge hammer to put in a Nail but its historically worked long term. Greese(ok this one never reaches stable they go from being heavy dependant on imports to local producing and back again) then china, German, and Japan these three had to go threw one very hard time of currency being devalued. In fact the Japan currency lost digits off one end at one point because the devaluation was that bad.

    Education and Medical has gone up under Chavez Team.

    Cristopher of course you would have been screaming about the other methods as well.
    1) Tax imported goods massive.
    2) Huge tax rates on everyone. Cyprus currently a one of tax out of everyone bank accounts and just like currency deflation this might happen multi times.

    No matter the method used to balance out a countries imports/exports it suxs to be caught up in it.

    High employment creates good worth ethic. It now needs a few people with a few profitable ideas.

    So from an money point of view Venezuela is brewing along nicely to be good in 10 to 15 years.

    Cristopher I know that does not help you at all for the next 10 to 15 years.

    There is one thing you can do to attempt to limit exposure Cristopher. Attempt to buy to your native country were possible and encourage new businesses.

    Now something you have not mentioned that is a important factor if it will or will not fix itself with enough time. How much support is the goverment giving to new local businesses setting up or lack there of.

    If there is lack of support for new businesses you are truly on the road to hell.

    Yes lowering the quality of live of everyone so they don’t buy as much imported is key to getting balance of trade under control when its out of control. No method of doing it is like. All the government gets hated.

    Cristopher how would you be if instead of current devaluation you were having to put up with each devaluation event be the government take so much percentage from you bank accounts in one off taxs.

    Remember currency devaluation can be reversed. Tax not so much.

    Cristopher if you can design a method to stop people importing goods and make them use local product that does not upset the populations governments world over would implement it.

  2. Cristopher says:

    The opposition don’t is a minority, review the election results, we are 46% of the voters, assuming of course, that the government don’t has manipulated the figures to remain in power. Did you know that here in Venezuela’s National Electoral Council is openly in favor of the Chavez Team, as the Supreme Court and ministries, including the Ministry of Defence? Did you know that political campaigning is prohibited by our constitution for such public institutions?
    Furthermore, although GDP has increased (by the high prices of our oil), all that is consumed in the country is acquired parallel dollar price. For example, if in the U.S. a Ford Focus costs $ 17,000 here in Venezuela amounts to buy at $ 62,063 which is a joke as well as a tragedy. I’m a profesional of the systems engineering, i have fixed income $ 196 per week (to official change), which translates into $ 53 due to the high rate of inflation and the two currency markets existing.

    You think that our level of unemployment decreased, but also decreased the “quality jobs”, and if we add “low quality employment + high inflation + high levels of insecurity + continuous devaluation of the currency + political discourse generates division, resentment and hatred from the poorest to the middle and upper class ” what do we get? “Low quality of life”, that simple.

  3. Ted wrote, “free software in national institutions has been passed into law (which of course will be repelled as soon as an opposition comes to power)”

    If the opposition is backing a minority and the underclasses are able to participate more fully in government it is hard to see how an opposition could soon come to power except by force of arms. Eventually the opposition will see it in their interests to share the values of a wider base. That’s almost happening in USA where the Republicans are rethinking just about everything because what they are doing did not work in the last election. Basically, they brought forth candidates who were popular with old-guard Republicans and not with the electorate.

    The thing that I like about Venezuela is that GNU/Linux and FLOSS has an opportunity to compete with inferior technology because it’s not locked out as it is where I live. Given a choice, a huge share will choose GNU/Linux. It is reasonable for a government to encourage FLOSS and to eat its own dogfood just to open the markets to competition. It looks anti-competitive but it’s not. M$ has made the current situation seem normal but only by decades of anti-competitive actions. A few salesmen working for FLOSS is a good thing and the government can afford them. The government cannot afford to cede control of the markets to M$ because they are a serial abuser.

  4. ted says:

    I was in Venezuela a while back to work the sound on a documentary that was shown on RDI about the changes to the health practices of Venezuela since Chavez had taken power (more than 3/4 of people there had never seen a doctor or dentist in their lives. and the poor were spectacularly poor in the sections where there was not even roads a few years ago).
    A lot of the medical personnel there were cubans and one recognized my tux t-shirt and introduced me to some brazilians students who were setting put Linux thin clients using spare parts cannibalized here and there.
    They had been doing that for the past 3 summers and were proud of how some villages that just got electricity were now running Linux.

    They also have one of those laptop-for-kids program that uses the local Linux variant (Gnome, ugh!) and free software in national institutions has been passed into law (which of course will be repelled as soon as an opposition comes to power), so it seems like Linux is doing very well there.

    What you have to understand also is that like a lot of south american countries, racism is strong and the indigenous people are seen as sub-human by the small wealthier castes. The gulf between the have and the have nots is like in this region spectacular and both sides resent the others. The ones who were well off dont see Chavez as a saviour beacuse their life was good before. Except there was a whole load of people who had nothing which is why Chavez kept winning: when you have nothing and something gives you something, you will be grateful.
    Is Venezuela still poor? Yes. But having social services and health is a huge step which cant be understated.
    If those poor can access computer labs in villages that are easy to maintain, then educating the poor can only be improved.

    Health and education should be available to all peopl e and free software can help in making this possible.

  5. Some stats show that the murder rate is about the only thing that has worsened during Chavez’ time.


    Times of rapid change are difficult for any society.

  6. cristopher says:

    You talk about things you do not know, investigate well!. Half the population does not follow Chavez, the only socialist exist in the imagination of dreamers, as all government officials live like rich capitalists. Incidentally, canaima linux sucks, I would not recommend to anyone, here in Venezuela (I am Venezuelan) is used for duty in public institutions, in particular prefer Debian Testing, or Mint, or Fedora, or OSuse anyone but canaima .
    Finally I leave a really, here in Venezuela, inflation is soaring, the fiscal deficit is high, the scarcity is everywhere, and we have the second index of killed most highest per capita in the world. Shut up, and stop saying crap baseless.

  7. George Wilson says:

    There’s just one thing I know:

    The day of Hugo Chavez’s death was a sad one for everyone.

    Hell, if he’s the kind of socialist whom so many God-fearing, self-righteous Americans — whether they’re Republicans, self-proclaimed “Liberals” or Democrats — rather would see dead, then I want to be a socialist too.

    He did the right thing, taking back from greedy capitalist corporations what never was theirs to begin with. Here’s an unbiased article about his achievements, should you be interested to read it.

    He was truly a great man. It’s unfortunate that our beloved Western press has nothing better to do than lambast him.

    We truly need to support revolutions in tomorrow’s leading states, to make sure that real forces of freedom can come to the fore there. FLOSS is one important instrument to achieve that. I have the faint hope that these states then one day can liberate us Westerners who have grown fat and lazy and ignorant, resting on the laurels of our glorious past, patting ourselves on our backs for thinking that we are evolution’s crowning achievement, having listened to such quacks as Francis Fukuyuma who boldly proclaimed the end of history and the victory of capitalism.

    May you rest in peace, Hugo Chavez, and guide our ways from above, hopefully leading us into better times.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Mats Hagglund think carefully China and Iran do truly risk being at war with the USA so risk of being isolated from Windows Update servers and Microsoft provide updates.

    From a mil point of view running an OS that you don’t control what is in the update servers is trouble waiting to happen.

    Windows Botnet is only 1 risk. Another risk is not being able to take control of the update and activation system in time of war.

    Cyber assult caused damage does not have to happen just because you attacked. Cyber Assult damage can happen because required updates to stop it were withheld.

    Like really when you activate Windows here in Australia you activate with a server in the USA with the rest of the world.

    If Microsoft was really running activation servers and update servers in every country around the world they would be able to justify the different costs for different peoples provide of Windows. Yes under we are respecting your national security and have deployed what is required so in time of war your government can take control.

  9. Mats Hagglund says:

    I just wonder why countries like Iran, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia etc… would risk their security with using Windows and making cyber attacks much more easier by Windows botnets.

    Windows botnet is surely not 100% of security issue but surely one of the main risks.

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