Ex-US Ambassador Accused of Covertly Working for Cuba

Ex-US Ambassador Accused of Covertly Working for Cuba

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha for allegedly serving as a covert agent for Cuban intelligence services over several decades. Unsealed court papers on Monday revealed that Rocha engaged in “clandestine activity” with the Cuban government since at least 1981, sharing false information with the US and meeting Cuban operatives.

A veteran in the US Foreign Service for 25 years, Rocha held prominent positions in South American nations like Bolivia and Argentina. Attorney General Merrick Garland highlighted that the case exposes one of the most extensive infiltrations of the US government by a foreign agent, emphasizing the gravity of betraying public trust.

Rocha faces charges of acting as an illegal agent of a foreign government, with US law requiring registration with the DOJ for those acting on behalf of foreign governments. The FBI arrested Rocha on Friday as part of a counterintelligence probe, and he is expected to appear in a federal court in Miami, Florida.

Rocha’s controversial intervention in Bolivia’s presidential race in 2002, warning of aid cuts if left-wing candidate Evo Morales was elected, stirred tensions and contributed to Morales’s victory. Since retiring from government service, Rocha has been involved in a new career as the president of a Dominican gold mine accused of environmental degradation and complicity in extrajudicial killings in Tanzania.


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