Washington, May 31 (Prensa Latina) An ovation filled the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in the American town of Rapid City when the Cuban team of the University of Havana (UH) was Latin American champion in an international university competition of programming.
The representation of the Caribbean country, baptized as UH++, occupied a historic 44th place in the annual meeting known as ACM-ICPC, which was attended by 130 centers of higher education around the world.
This result, in addition to being placed at the head of the 19 groups participating in the region, represented the best position occupied by any Latin American team in more than four decades of the event, sponsored by the US company IBM technology since 1970.
However, the US State Department denied the visa to another group of Cuban computer science students from the Western University of Pinar del Rio,to attend the contest, a reflection of the hostility that Washington still has against Cuba in all areas.
‘We noticed that the applause for us was different from the rest, and I do not say it just because we received it, we seriously felt it different, like an ovation to Cuba’, one of the three members of the island’s team, Ariel Cruz, told Prensa Latina.
During the event, he added, when they asked us where we were from and we answered that from Cuba, most people were lighting their faces, many people did not even know that our country participated in this type of contest, said the young award-winning.
He, along with Marcelo Fornet and Eloy Pérez, was the protagonist of a result that his university colleagues, and many other people in social networks inside and outside the island, followed closely as if it were a spectacular sporting event.
Before the May 24 deadline in South Dakota, Cuba’s best international position in this contest was 85th; in the case of Latin America, its greatest achievement was an 82nd place acquired by a team from the Dominican Republic.
However, students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the UH, trained by Professor Alfredo Somoza, managed to solve five problems and be better positioned than recognized centers such as the University of California-Berkeley or Oxford.