Venezuela and Free Software
An announcement about the Venezuelan government offering free software classes was posted a mailing list I am on. It was reproduced from a government web site and said that Open Source Software courses were to begin on Monday.
I went to look at the original announcement and was surprised to see it was in English. Here is part of the announcement.
A program to train over 400 thousand people in open source software - as part of Mission Science - will start on Monday, June 12 in Venezuela. This training program will be carried out by the National Center of Information Technologies (CNTI, Spanish acronym). CNTI's President, Jorge Berrizbeitia, explained that the first goal is to train the population that does not know anything about this field.
Brazil, Venezuela's neighbor to the south, has already embraced Open Source Software in a big way and there is quite a bit of cooperation between Venezuela and Brazil these days so it wasn't a total surprise to me but I wanted to know how serious they were so I looked up CNTI. CNTI is part of the Ministry of Science and Technology which is a cabinet-level agency.
I went to CNTI's web site and was surprised. About 2/3 of the way down the page there is a section on Software Libre (free software). It includes five graphics labeled Fundimentals, Legal Base, Academia, Documentation, and Advances. In these sections you will find more information including PDFs of the laws. Note that all of this is in Spanish.
To me, this is just another example of how many governments understand the advantages of free software (I mean that in both the sense of price and in the sense of freedom) and understand that government participation in helping their citizens get on the Open Source Software bandwagon will benefit everyone.