Who is Roberto Alonso

 

 

 

Roberto (“Robert”) Alonso (born August 23, 1950) [1] is a Cuban-American, raised in Venezuela, leader of the hard right-wing conservative opposition in Venezuela, journalist, author of seven books, [2] founder of the “Movimiento de Resistencia Nacional” (“National Resistance Movement”) [3], rancher, businessman and a TV producer.  In 1972 he became an anti-Castro activist [4].  According to Chavez’ government, he is a terrorist who joined the CIA in that same year (1972) [212]. When in 2004 thousands of Venezuelans attended the opposition’s call to take on the streets in a generalized demonstration that lasted few days, Alonso was accused by the government of Venezuela of being the instigator, and guilty for the injured and even casualties which occurred during these protests [5].

 

Personal Life

 

Early years

 

 Roberto Alonso was born in the city of Cienfuegos, Cuba [6][7], to Ricardo and Conchita Alonso.  Alonso’s father was in the automobile finances business in their native Cienfuegos.  He is in the second born, after his brother Ricardo Jr, and followed by his younger sister, Maria Conchita, now a famous Latin-American singer and a Hollywood star [8][9].  He attended Los Maristas, a private Catholic school and Loyola Military Academy in Havana [10][11].

 

In August 1961, after almost two years of Cuban revolution, his family was forced to leave their country [12][13], after the new government took Ricardo’s business, and moved to Venezuela; Roberto was 11 years old then.  They settled in Venezuela, where he was raised.  The Alonso family managed to smuggle to Venezuela US$ 50, their whole capital when they arrived in South America.  They left Cuba with 13 suitcases and a little Pekinese dog named “Chato”.  He was never to go back to the tranquil town of Cienfuegos, where, as he said once: “the smell of the sea filled our lungs every morning, and one car, if even, passed every half-hour.”  He was a squirrelly, mischievous kid who favored horseback riding, fishing, and playing cowboys and Indians. [14]

 

The Alonsos boarded the old Spanish ship – Marques de Comillas – on his 11th birthday, August 23rd 1961 [15].   People gathered at the docks and shouted, "Gusanos! Imperialistas!" (“Imperialist! Worms!”).  But soon those chants drifted unheard into the wind. During the trip, his mother Conchita knelt before Roberto and explained that his parents were "counterrevolutionaries." She hugged him and said Fidel was a bad man. "That morning of the 24th of August 1961, I became Cuban," he would later write in an essay. [16]

 

At the first pensión, or boarding house, in Caracas Venezuela, the family shared a bathroom with prostitutes, Roberto recalls. Soon Ricardo found a gig selling used cars. Roberto and his brother passed out flyers at a stoplight.  Next their father set up a rattan-importing business. Ricardo Jr. immersed himself in student politics, but Robert wasn't interested. [17]

 

His father managed to start an import-export business.  By 1965, the Alonso family had the economical means to send Roberto to school in the United States, where he spent several years living with the Loshes in Deer Park, a small farming community 50 miles away from Spokane, Washington State [202][18].  There he learned the American way of life, and the American tradition, among – how he calls them – his American relatives, Norman, Beverly, Sharon and Mark Losh.  A family with very strong Christian values, hard-working farmers.  It was then that Roberto first entered a protestant church (Methodist), which was prohibited to Catholics, back when he was a child.  He became a member of that church, even though he kept attending the town’s little Catholic church, once in a while.  After graduating from high school he attended Kinman Business University in Spokane where he studied Business Administration. [19] [202]. Once home in Venezuela, Alonso created the Dona Petra del Amo Foundation, which had the mission to send young Venezuelans boys and girls to Deer Park, Washington, to benefit from the American teachings.  The foundation gave them the funding and found homes for these kids coming from the Venezuelan depressed social class [210].  

 

Adulthood

 

Roberto was back in Venezuela where he started to work in his family business [203].  The Alonso’s economic situation had improved considerably due to the creation of a cosmetic factory and a gymnasium where most of the Venezuelan misses did they work out to get in shape [204].  Miss Venezuela Marzia Piazza was one of the gymnasium directors [204].  It was she and Roberto who introduced his sister [20][21], Maria Conchita [22], to show business [205]. 

 

Alonso then moved to Europe and took a course in TV and film direction at the “Hochschuler für Fernsehen und Film” in Munich, then he took Journalism at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland [24][25][206].  It was while living in Germany that Alonso decided to become a “Freedom Fighter”.  His first production while going to school in Munich was to make a short film about the communist oppression in East Germany.  In one of the scenes, Alonso himself acted to recreate the way that East Germans were killed by crossing the river to seek freedom at the other side [207] [208].