Former US Ambassador to Bolivia to Plead Guilty in Cuban Spy Case

Former US Ambassador to Bolivia, Manuel Rocha, has informed a federal judge that he will plead guilty to charges related to a decades-long effort to spy on the US government for communist Cuba. Rocha, 73, agreed to a deal offered by federal prosecutors, which will see 13 criminal counts against him dropped in exchange for his admission to conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government.

The charges against Rocha include wire fraud and making false statements. However, the specific details of his sentence have not been disclosed. The two counts he will plead guilty to carry a maximum sentence of between five and 10 years in prison. Rocha is scheduled to formally enter his guilty plea and receive his sentence at a hearing on April 12.

The Justice Department charged Rocha in December, accusing him of working as a secret agent for the Cuban government’s top intelligence agency since 1981, the same year he began his long career at the State Department. Throughout his more than 20 years in public service, Rocha held high-ranking positions in several embassies and even the White House during the Clinton administration, providing him access to nonpublic and classified information, as well as the ability to influence US foreign policy.

Prosecutors revealed that Rocha maintained his cover by portraying himself as a Cuba hardliner opposed to the communist regime. However, undercover FBI agents posing as Cuban intelligence officials uncovered his true allegiance during a series of meetings. Rocha acknowledged the “decades” of spying he had done on behalf of Cuba, spanning “40 years.” He referred to the US as “the enemy” and praised the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during these encounters.

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. Attorney General Merrick Garland described Rocha’s actions as one of the “longest-lasting infiltrations” of the US by a foreign agent.

Carlos Trujillo, a Miami attorney who served as US Ambassador to the Organization of American States during the Trump administration, criticized Rocha’s plea deal, considering it a lenient punishment for a spy who put American lives at risk.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. It is indeed troubling to learn about the actions of former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha and his involvement in spying for communist Cuba. This situation highlights the importance of strengthening security measures within the US government to prevent such espionage activities.

    One potential solution to prevent similar incidents in the future is to implement a comprehensive and rigorous vetting process for individuals appointed to high-ranking government positions. This process should include thorough background checks, including investigations into any potential ties or affiliations that may compromise national security.

    Additionally, it is

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