Ex-US Official Pleads Guilty to Spying for Cuba

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – On Feb. 29, the former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Victor Manuel Rocha, 73, pleaded guilty in a Miami, Florida, courtroom to charges he worked as an agent of Cuba.

For 40 years, Rocha had allegedly been secretly giving information to Cuba’s communist-run government while working for the U.S. State Department.

Rocha, who initially pleaded not guilty, changed his plea during the Feb. 29 hearing, with his attorneys and prosecutors noting that a plea deal had been reached. He is charged with wire fraud, violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act due to acting as a foreign agent, and that he made false statements in order to get a U.S. passport. As part of his plea deal, the 13 criminal counts of wire fraud and making false statements will be dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to conspiring to act as an agent for a foreign government.

Rocha was born in Colombia and raised in New York City. From 1999-2002, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia. He also served 25 years on the National Security Council and has served postings in Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Mexico.

He left the diplomatic service and took on a private consulting position as a special advisor to the U.S. Southern Command, which is part of the United States military that oversees Cuba.

According to the charging document, Rocha was contacted via WhatsApp in November 2022 by an undercover FBI agent who claimed to be a Cuban Intelligence Services representative delivering a message from Rocha’s “friends from Havana.”

According to the court documents, Rocha and the undercover FBI agent met several times, with Rocha telling the agent details about how he had worked as a secret agent for the Cuban government. During the meetings, Rocha referred to the United States as “the enemy” and offered praise for the late Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.

He is set to be sentenced on April 12.

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