Cuba, long the subject of a trade embargo from America, finds it difficult to get its hands on Microsoft software legally. Given that MS Office formats are the global standard, it makes things rather difficult for the island nation, so the country has decided to put its eggs in the Open Source box.
Cuba has developed its own variant of Linux, called “Nova”. It was introduced at a Havana computer conference on “technological sovereignty”, the Cuban government’s desire to become more technologically independent from America.
About 20 percent computers in Cuba currently run Linux – but sales of computers to the public only started last year. The dean of the School of Free Software at Cuba’s University of Information Sciences, Hector Rodriguez, says “I would like to think that in five years our country will have more than 50 percent migrated (to Linux)”.