In the Loop

Cuba frees itself from the tyranny of Windows OS!

Posted at 2:45 PM on February 18, 2009 by Sanden Totten (3 Comments)

Finally dipping it's toes into the pool of modern technology, Cuba allowed computers to hit the open market last year. But they quickly ran into a problem we've all faced at various points in our lives: Microsoft Windows.

"Windows, go home!" OMARA GARCIA MEDEROS AFP/Getty Images
Castro.jpg
The ubiquitous operating system is everywhere. But it's hard for Cubans to get legally thanks to the trade embargo. It's full of holes and bugs. The code behind the program is kept secret so tech geeks can't customize it, fix it or improve it without a Microsoft approved update. Basically, as Cuba University's Information Sciences Director, Hector Rodriguez puts it, Window's modus operandi is out of step with Cuba's values:

"The free software movement is closer to the ideology of the Cuban people, above all for the independence and sovereignty."

So the solution? Go with Linux. Linux, for those not hip to the freeware scene...or those with lives that don't require WiFi access...is an operating system like Windows, but all of the code for it is publicly shared. This allows people to fix it, change it and adapt it as they see fit. And it gives places like Cuba the ability to make their own country specific version . . .sticking it to the "U.S. hegemony" one desktop at a time.

Similar strikes have been previously announced by U.S. frenemies such as Russia and China.

Personally, I have qualms with Windows, but I also love a lot about it. I have to admit though, there is something Big Brother-ish about a program that runs on roughly a billion computers worldwide. But let's face it, Windows is not as far-reaching and world dominating as say The Matrix...The Matrix never crashes, for starters. And as Cuba will likely learn on its own, creating an operating system and getting countless other programs and computers to work seamlessly with it is no easy task.


Comments (3)

Let us be just a tad more frank and candid here. Cuba could not steal Windows XP let alone Vista. It had to pay like everyone else!

Well now, just listen to the whine: "That's not fair! We're being exploited by the capitalists."

The result? They are being treated for the true DEADBEATS which they really are. No wonder Uncle Sam demands cash in advance for food shipments!

Posted by David | February 19, 2009 6:36 AM


I don't know if you meant it this way, but not all Cubans are "deadbeats". I in no way defend the regime. What are the people there supposed to do? With little investment in infrastructure, public works, jobs, etc. and no way for the people to compete, they are doing what they can to survive. Just think what would have become of our country if we hadn't had a regime change this past November : stuck in a war we can't win, businesses and money jumping ship, and a huge trade deficit. Whenever one small group of people dominates the masses for personal profit, we get a nation of "deadbeats". In the end it will be the masses working together to save the asses ~ if Cubans ever get the chance

Posted by Jennifer | February 19, 2009 9:12 AM


david, are you saying that all of linux users are deadbeat whiners? the capitalist brazilians, too? the parts of europe that are moving to linux? cuba can't buy windows because u.s. law prohibits it, as it prohibits the sale of any hardware or software made in the u.s. or w/ u.s. components. cuba cannot even download a freebie applet; vendors are required to block the deal. btw: the u.s. also limits cuba to internet bandwidth for the whole country equivalent to what you might get here for one big building. don't you know that the u.s. is committed by law to strangle cuba economically?

Posted by LatAm | February 20, 2009 1:02 AM


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