Former US Ambassador to Bolivia Sentenced to 15 Years for Spying on US Government for Cuba

Former US Ambassador to Bolivia, Victor Manuel Rocha, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting to a decades-long campaign of spying on the US government for communist Cuba. The sentencing took place on Friday in Miami, Florida, where US District Judge Beth Bloom accepted Rocha’s guilty plea on two counts, including acting as an agent of a foreign government.

Rocha, 73, was indicted last December in a case described by Attorney General Merrick Garland as “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the US government by a foreign agent.” The former ambassador, who served from 2000 to 2002, held various high-ranking positions in several embassies and even the White House during the Clinton administration over his more than 20 years in public service.

Between 2006 and 2012, Rocha served as an advisor to the US Southern Command, a Miami-based joint military command post of the Department of Defense responsible for the region that includes Cuba. This role provided him with access to nonpublic and classified information, as well as the ability to influence US foreign policy.

Rocha admitted that his involvement with Cuba’s intelligence service began in 1973 and continued until his arrest, spanning his entire career in government. Prosecutors revealed that he portrayed himself as a Cuba hardliner to minimize suspicions. However, Rocha’s true allegiance was exposed during a series of meetings with undercover FBI agents posing as Cuban intelligence officials, where he acknowledged his decades-long spying activities on behalf of Cuba.

During these meetings, Rocha referred to the US as “the enemy” and praised the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He described his work as a Cuban agent as “enormous” and claimed that it had greatly strengthened the Cuban Revolution.

The US government has not disclosed the specific information Rocha may have provided to Cuba or how he may have influenced US policy towards the island. Despite the severity of his actions, Rocha was not charged with espionage, which would have carried a stiffer sentence.

Cuban-born Representative Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) expressed his dissatisfaction with the sentence, stating that “15 years in a federal prison will never be enough for the irreparable harm he’s inflicted on our nation.”

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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