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Cuba Switching to Linux

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the comrade-tux dept.

Linux 1149

Tony Montana writes "According to several news sites the government of Cuba is dumping Windows in favour of Linux. Cuba's director of information technology, Roberto del Puerto, says that Cuba already has approximately 1500 computers running on Linux, and is working towards replacing Windows on all state owned computers."

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Lets start counting (5, Funny)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576965)

how many people will make a comment about communism and linux....

this is 1

At least one (3, Funny)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576991)

In communist Cuba Linux switches you! Oh my ...

Re:Lets start counting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577009)

I thought Bill Gates was a communist [com.com] . Now the communists are using Linux! I'm not sure what to make of this.

Re:Lets start counting (1, Funny)

elasticwings (758452) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577064)

Cuba the country??? I thought they were talking about Cuba Gooding Jr. Damn, for a minute there, I thought we could use his celebrity power to start convincing people that Linux really is cool.

Re:Lets start counting (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577109)

This is Slashdot. Don't you mean:

this is 0

COCK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576966)

judar gjorde wtc judar gjorde wtc judar gjorde wtc frosty prost

whoo hoo 1500 ! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576967)


yeah 1500 computers !!, eat that AMIGA !!

WMDs (0)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576968)

Now will they use it to control WMDs?

Re:WMDs (3, Funny)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577062)

Who? Cuba? Cuba has about as many WMD as Iraq did.

Re:WMDs (1)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577125)

IM assuming the WMD are free universal health care, sustainable agriculture and quality education for all its citizens.
We cannot have these ideas spreading. :)

Re:WMDs (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577065)

That they got from where? China or North Korea? You think we wouldn't notice it coming in? Did they built a tunnel under the ocean from the Pacific over to Cuba?

Give me a break.

Re:WMDs (1)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577104)

They used their newly invented matter transporter of course.

Re:WMDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577140)

Hi, yeah, 1962 just called, they want their missile crisis back.

1500 computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576974)

wow

1st shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576975)

In communist Cuba, Linux replaces you?

Viva (1, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576977)

Yay for me.
Not that we could import windows due to the trade sanctions anyway ;)

(btw yes its a joke , my name is a pun)

Re:Viva (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577012)

I don't think that word means what you think it does.

Re:Viva (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577051)

Viva means Live , so in that context its perfectly fine.
The cultural reference in non-spanish speaking cultures also fits well

Communists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576978)

Oh great, there goes our Publick Relations with Middle America! "Those communists use Linux so we gots to use Microsoft!"

Re:Communists! (2, Funny)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577049)

Middle America? Step away from the Tolkien, laddie.

It's Official! (0)

Roofus (15591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576980)

Linux promotes Communism!

(that was a joke).

In Soviet Cuba (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577023)

Communism promotes Linux!

Re:It's Official! (1)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577092)

Well it does.

This isn't the story that proves it however, given that Cuba is not communist but (at best) an example of Really Existing Socialism and (at worst) a rather nasty dictatorship.

Bill Gates was right after all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576983)

Linux users are communists!!!

yup, anti-capitalisism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576984)

The Microsofties are right... OSS is communism and it's here to destroy our wonderful capitalist state!

Nah (2, Interesting)

dyfet (154716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577050)

Cuba, like the former Soviet Union, are perhaps best classified as "state capitalists", where the state acts as a sole monopoly replacing a private capital class. The Soviet Union in particular was the ultimate example of the danger of monopoly capitalism, which is true whether it is public or private.

Re:Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577084)

What are you saying 'Nah' to? And why are you defining what economic systems are set up in Cuba and the former Soviet Union? This isnt a history/economic class.

Re:Nah (1)

eseneca1 (858509) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577138)

"monopoly capitalism" .. "Jumbo Shrimp" .. "Giant Pea" oxyMORON.... Someone needs to read a bit of history on the difference between communism and capitalism. You cannot even begin to say that the Soviet Union or Cuba are capitalist societies...

Re:yup, anti-capitalisism (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577115)

Smacks of a reasonable business decision to me.
Or, can you produce any anecdotal evidence that SmartTags have somehow improved your revenues?
I'm happy to admit that MS Office is a swell product, if we can, in the same orgy of objectivity, admit that it was feature-complete around Office97 or so.
Oh, wait...that would hurt the value of my MSFT shares. Never mind.

Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba? (5, Insightful)

shoppa (464619) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576986)

I'm assuming that all Cuban installations of Windows are pirate copies anyway, because it's illegal for US companies to sell to Cuba (very stiff penalties).

Re:Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577075)

Yeah. The Helms-Burton law has only been on the books since 1996. Bill Gates told me it was on his stack of things to read when he had time, right after Sarbanes-Oxley. Dealing with monopoly lawsuits in Europe had him kind of tied up right now.

My guess is the Cuban equivalent of NewEgg is willing to buy copies of Windows in some free and open trading partner like Libya and sell them to Cuba. I'm wondering how the support calls work:

"Reinstale por favor Windows."

Re:Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577087)

it's illegal for US companies to sell to Cuba (very stiff penalties)


My thought exactly. And, if you RTFA (very short, all three of them) you'll find the following: "Del Puerto said his office was working on a legal framework that would allow the replacement of the Windows system". I wonder which legal framework is that? In a country that has the dictator with the longest time in office in the whole world, how much of a "legal framework" is needed, anyhow?



(BTW, congrats to you, twelfth comment and the first non-stupid, non-redundant one).

Re:Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577089)

Well there's obviously other routes of buying Windows than just from Redmond. First of all Microsoft is an international company. It's possible that Cuba could buy copies of Windows from say Microsoft India, or more likely Microsoft Mexico.

Microsoft obviously also has distributors outside the United States, and it's perfectly legal for them to sell to Cuba.

Re:Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba (5, Insightful)

CommunistTroll (544327) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577114)

If Cuba is using copies of Windows in a legal fashion under Cuban law then they are not pirate copies, even if that use would be illegal under US law.

It's up to Cuban copyright law to decide whether you should have to pay Microsoft to use copies of their software.

Re:Can Microsoft even legally sell Windows in Cuba (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577144)

Even if they can, Cuba has loved linux for a while - obviously, even if they can they don't want to depend from USA technology. Infomed, for one (the national healtcare information sharing or whatever you english people call it) is based in linux at least

And that children (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576989)

is how the Bay of Penguins incident began...

Re:And that children (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577033)

Okay, that was actually funny...

Re:And that children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577095)

Ever notice that the ones that complain most about their freedoms are the ones that rarely go outside and USE THEM?

How could going outside possibly be relevant to "using freedoms"?

Re:And that children (1, Redundant)

harley_frog (650488) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577054)

Mod parent 'Funny', please.

What would Ballmer say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576992)

"Comrades have joined together"

Are they really? (3, Interesting)

mopslik (688435) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576994)

I think this snippet sums up a lot of the recent Linux "migration" stories:

Although Windows is used on about 90 percent of the world's personal computers, some governments and large organizations have switched to the free Linux system or have threatened to do so to get discounts.

Which is sad, since I've had a fairly painless transition to Linux a few years ago. Given the state of WINE these days, there's very little that a Linux-only box can't do that a Wintel box can.

Re:Are they really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577090)

some governments and large organizations have switched to the free Linux system or have threatened to do so to get discounts.

I may be wrong here, but I was under the impression that Microsoft CAN'T sell Windows to Cuba, even if they wanted to. It's illegal. So we're actually in a situation where Windows is free, and Linux is free. And the winner is... Linux.

Personally I could care less who does or doesn't use Windows/Linux, but this is actually an interesting case where the initial cost is probably the same, yet Linux prevails.

Just great... (0)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576995)

this will give more ammunition to the "Linux is for commies" crowd.

Re:Just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577096)

this will give more ammunition to the "Linux is for commies" crowd.

No, it just proves our point that communist love Linux. Its not ammunition, its the proof for all you comrade penguins

end satire:

Re:Just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577099)

this will give more ammunition to the "Linux is for commies" crowd.

True, but those guys are shooting blanks anyhow. They are clearly ignorant of both Linux and communism.

Linux is Communism (1)

NessusRed (710227) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576996)

This story is proof. Such an evil OS and a evil country go together. If you use linux you are supporting the oppression of basic human rights.

Old news... (1)

jzono1 (772920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576997)

Old news, saw it in the local newspaper, 'nuff said

Re:Old news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577108)

Old news, saw it in the local newspaper, 'nuff said

Please tell me more about this newspaper concept. It's quite alien to me.

Positive Image (5, Funny)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#12576998)

That's great Cuba has such a positive image. This is bound to make people switch to linux in droves.

Re:Positive Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577123)

Outside of the USA Cuba does not have a terrible image.
There has been alot of outrage against the trade sanctions imposed by the USA.
Every time the vote has come up in the UN there has been at most 3 nations in support of the trade sanctions , the USA and normaly a couple of small allys who recive alot of aid from the USA.
The rest of the world is far less communist phobic .

Re:Positive Image (2, Informative)

vrai (521708) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577126)

Cuba does have a positive image - it's a lovely place to go on holiday: the people are friendly, the weather is sunny, the booze is cheap and there's hardly any Americans! Even the flights aren't too expensive these days, and you can make some of that back by selling all the cigars you imported to your friends.

Che Tux Revolution! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12576999)

Can I get my Che Tux Revolution TShirt signed by Fidel?

Re:Che Tux Revolution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577113)

I'll trade in my CIA Death Squad Microsoft coffee mug.

OS is Communism (2, Funny)

larjon (582981) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577000)

Well, we all know that OpenSource is Communism :)

Re:OS is Communism (1)

Heliologue (883808) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577037)

Torvalds made some comment to that effect in his biography. It's seriously true, if you think about it. Open Source is Marxism for IP.

You consider this a win? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577004)

This just adds fodder to the contention that Communism and open source are the same thing. Even Zonk is advancing that theory with his "comrade" comment.

I think it might not be a bad idea to amend the GPL to insist that no Communism or politically misaligned countries / organizations should be able to use it. This would help combat some of the negative sterotypes facing OSS.

Re:You consider this a win? (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577086)

Misaligned in reference to what ?

To your soon-to-be (or it-is-already) dictature ?

Re:You consider this a win? (1)

jalet (36114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577117)

Sorry, I meant dictatorship.

Re:You consider this a win? (5, Insightful)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577094)

I think it might not be a bad idea to amend the GPL to insist that no Communism or politically misaligned countries / organizations should be able to use it. This would help combat some of the negative sterotypes facing OSS.

But that is the "great" thing about the GPL and similar OSS licenses. Its free to anyone dispite ideological differences. If it wasn't, a F/OSS advocating developer could bar me from using their software because I also use non-Free software. A staunch pro-life developer of a scheduling package could bar an abotion clinic from using their software. If something is going to be free, it needs to be free, not "kinda-free, only when you agree with us"

Re:You consider this a win? (2, Interesting)

notany (528696) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577137)

This might be suprice to you. Big part of the world (including Canada and Europe) might think that contry ruled by fundamental evangelist christians is politically misaligned. Or at least in danger to become one. This is not a trolling! Many of us really think so.

Another reason is that putting any political agendas in software licenses is not leagally right (You can put them there of cource, but they have no effect)

Gives a slogan 'Linux is a communism'... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577006)

a whole new meaning :)

But if serious it is half funny, half serious. Let's see how Microsoft friendly [tm] press will spin it :)

Looks like.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577008)

Looks like Steve was right [theregister.co.uk] . :)

Socialism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577010)

Oh... queue the jokes.

embargo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577013)

Er, are they even allowed to be using Windows? Microsoft certainly isn't allowed to sell it to them.

So if they aren't paying licencing fees, this is obviously a political choice, rather than a cost issue.

Fidel never liked monopolies (1)

JJ (29711) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577014)

First thing he did was nationalize the sugar industry. I'm sure getting rid of Micro$oft is in the same vein to him.

Re:Fidel never liked monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577058)

Gah! It's still a monopoly if it's state-owned. Fidel loves monopolies.

Re:Fidel never liked monopolies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577068)

You got it wrong, Fidel loves monopolies, state ones.

Re:Fidel never liked monopolies (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577077)

First thing he did was nationalize the sugar industry. I'm sure getting rid of Micro$oft is in the same vein to him.

How does the government having sole control over an industry make it any less of a monopoly?

Another communications barrier (4, Funny)

jsheedy (772604) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577015)

Man, not only do the illegals have to deal with never speaking the language when they boat over, but now they will have the deal with not being able to use the computers that are here either.

They paid for Windows licenses? (1)

schoolsucks (570755) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577016)

So when the Cuban government was running Windows, they were actually paying for all those Windows licenses and software agreements to keep things legit? I find that very hard to believe.

Viva la Revolucion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577017)

no text

Ha! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577019)

I always knew linux was for commies...

So much for spying (5, Funny)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577021)

How are we ever going to spy on these countries if they stop using Windows?

State owned computers (1)

NerdHead (35767) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577022)

Cuba already has approximately 1500 computers running on Linux, and is working towards replacing Windows on all state owned computers.

Aren't all of the computers there owned by the state?

Re:State owned computers (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577070)

No.

Re:State owned computers (4, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577088)

No, there are privately-owned computers. There used to be internet access available at home, but all dial-up service (except for elites) was suspended about a year and a half ago.

I submitted it here as a YRO story, but it was deemed less relevant to Your Rights Online than Darl McBride's new open letter in response to Groklaw's new open letter to Darl McBride.

Great... (5, Insightful)

ooze (307871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577025)

All we need is another multi billion dollar company with a reason to lobby for invading Cuba...

Great achievement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577030)

Roberto del Puerto, says that Cuba already has approximately 1500 computers running on Linux, and is working towards replacing Windows on all state owned computers."

Is that supposed to be a major achievement? 1500 computer running linux in the Country? The whole government of Cuba? :-)

All joking aside, any steps towards Linux is a good thing... the articles were sketchy on details though, for example timeframes, or expected total rollout

Trade Sanction Time! (1)

Luke Psywalker (869266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577038)

oh wait.....

Go Cuba! (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577042)

If the US won't sell software to Cuba then why should anyone be surprised when Cuba stops using US-made OS's?

I expect Castro feels safer with Linux anyway as he's problaby concerned about all those NSA-mandated backdoors in Windows.

embargo (1)

m4c north (816240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577044)

So how was Cuba getting M$ products anyway with the US trade embargo? To quote GYWO,

"Remember when the US had a drug problem, and then we declared a War on Drugs, and now you can't buy drugs anymore? It'll be just like that!"

Bad Cuba, bad commies!

Communism works!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577045)

Wow! who would have thought that a communist country would use a communist OS?

The funny thing is that the only way communism works (open source movement)is when it's built on the back of Capitalism.

- Comment by the Capitalist Pig

US Blockade? (0, Redundant)

Pao|o (92817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577057)

Doesnt the US have a trade embargo with Cuba? So how does MS sell their warez there? What more how can AMD/Intel sell their processors there?

Red hat (1)

RasendeRutje (829555) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577059)

joke 4323: That finally declares the name RED Hat!

Now how about... (1, Insightful)

suman28 (558822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577073)

Cuba switch to a real democracy and they will be all set.

Cuban Says RIAA Damages Should be $5 a month (1)

squirrelist (412181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577076)

What? They want free software and cheap music [slashdot.org] ?

Not a ringing endorsement (0, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577091)

Do we really want to site Cuba as a testament to OSS?

That's cool... (4, Interesting)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577093)

I remember sitting in an internet cafe at a resort in Cuba, wondering why they didn't use linux. Now maybe they will. My personal anecdote aside, I look forward to the day when it will hurt the US not to deal with Cuba; given its current popularity among European and Canadian travellers, I think it is coming. Cuba is still stable, and, indeed, has outlasted the Soviet Union.

Freedom in Cuba (1)

bunburyist (664958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577101)

This is likely no more than an economic advantage, its obvious that the Cubans could care less about freedom of anything Cuba is cracking down on internet access, make sure you bring a few copies of various Linux distros inside your "music" CD holder when you visit. Its good that linux is being adopted in these countries but the whole freedom thing RMS is on is being avoided. Also, am i the only one who noticed "Tony Montana" in the sidebar there? Absolutely Genius. :)

Cuba - computers? (1)

cartel (845256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577103)

how many people in Cuba actually have computers? I'll bet that people living there don't even know what a computer is.

No surprise (2, Interesting)

bitswapper (805265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577112)


((invasion-happy US Govn't) * (API-hiding OS vendor)) ** (US Govn't allows OS Vendor to violate it own laws) = (run forest run)

Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq ... Cuba's next. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577116)

Time to invade Cuba and install OS/X.

hmmmm (3, Funny)

Chaos_Thoery (797173) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577118)

This has got me thinkning. If Cuba is switching to Linux, there is a greater possibility that North Korea uses or will switch to Linux too. This is actually good because imagine at some super secret North Korea nuclear missile silo, some Windows box displays: "A fatal exception 0E has occurred at 0028:C0011E36 in VXD VMM(01)+00010E36. The current application, 'missiles standby', will be terminated." So actually, there IS a reason they call it the blue screen of DEATH.

Cost Savings are Cost Savings Right? (1)

ultimabaka (864222) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577120)

some governments and large organizations have switched to the free Linux system or have threatened to do so to get discounts.

For as rich as that seems, for some reason the thought simply never occurred to me that people actually got away with this :P.

As for Cuba switching OS's, it's a smart move only in terms of the fact that the nation is far from wealthy. With a total national GDP roughly the size of Alaska's (33.2b in Cuba according to the CIA [cia.gov] vs 31.4b for Alaska according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis [doc.gov] ), any cost savings they could get would be obviously welcomed, Communist or otherwise.

Linux: Power to the comrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577122)

This is what happens when you work for "free".

Linux, free as in DUMB

This FP 7or GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12577124)

Are a path3tic things I still be 'very poorly Been the best,

Goddammed commies! (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577131)

This was to be expected from a bearded no-good like Fidel Castro!!!

Change = Opportunity (1)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577134)

I think we could use this as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the US and Cuba. I know that the rift is only between the governments, but maybe the people can build a bridge of friendship and in some way help improve things.

You all are wrong.. (1)

archonon (662612) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577139)

Linux is not communism, it's libertarism since you share it freely. In the other hand closed source is communism since it's closed and you can't really change things plus Gates is dictator. :)

Now wait a darn minute (2, Interesting)

Senor_Programmer (876714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12577146)

AFAIK I am not allowed to export goods from the USA if I know they will end up in Cuba. So what loophole does Mr. Softie exploit?
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