A former US ambassador has been indicted for espionage during “over 40 years” for the benefit of Cuba, Washington’s historic enemy, the US Department of Justice announced on Monday.
This case is “one of the longest, and highest-level, infiltrations of a foreign agent into the American state”Justice Minister Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Victor Manuel Rocha, 73, was notably ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002 and a member of the National Security Council, an organ of the White House, from 1994 to 1995.
“We believe that for more than 40 years, Victor Manuel Rocha worked as an agent of the Cuban state”said Merrick Garland.
The former diplomat “sought and obtained positions within the US state apparatus that would give him access to non-public information and an ability to influence US foreign policy”he added.
Born in Colombia and a naturalized American, Manul Rocha began working for Cuba’s communist government as early as 1981 in its main intelligence agency, according to the prosecution.
According to the Justice Department, he continued his espionage work for Cuba even after leaving the State Department in 2002, after some thirty years of service, including when he was an advisor to the U.S. Southern Command, the body that coordinates U.S. armed forces in a region that includes Cuba.
Manuel Rocha was confused by a member of the American federal police (FBI) who posed, in 2022 and 2023, as an agent of the Cuban intelligence services, according to the Department of Justice.
Il “always referred to the United States as the enemy and used the word us to describe Cuba and himself”, he stressed. He is expected for an initial hearing Monday in federal court in Miami.
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