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A former US ambassador was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of spying for Cuba  world

A former US ambassador was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of spying for Cuba world

Photographs by Victor Manuel Rocha; In the last photo, he appears to be talking to an undercover FBI agent – Image: AP

Rocha was indicted in December and pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, Cuba, in what the Justice Department described as One of the most far-reaching and longest-running infiltration operations in US government history.

“Today’s decision brings an end to more than four decades of betrayal and deception by Mr. Rocha,” said David Newman, a senior national security official at the US Department of Justice. “Mr. Rocha has lived most of his life as a lie.”

Prosecutors accused Victor Rocha of being involved in clandestine activities on behalf of Cuba since at least 1981.the year he entered the US Foreign Service. (See positions held below)

The former spy became a special advisor to the commander of the US Army's Southern Command, and this is considered one of the most scandalous betrayals in the modern history of the US diplomatic corps.

According to the indictment, Rocha helped Cuban intelligence gather information against Washington for four decades, and during his time at the US State Department, he secretly supported the Cuban Communist Party.

He held meetings with Cuban intelligence agents and provided false information to US government officials about his contacts.

Federal authorities have not described exactly what Rocha did to help Cuba while working at the State Department. According to officials, the full extent of the spy's cooperation with the Cuban government may never be known.

Rocha's lawyer did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

American government positions

Over the past few decades, he has held the following positions in the US government:

  • He worked in County administration (a body similar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) between 1981 and 2002, according to the Ministry of Justice.
  • In 1994 and 1995, it was National Security Council Advisor From the US government.
  • Between 2000 and 2002, Manuel Rocha United States Ambassador to Bolivia.
  • Between 2006 and 2012, it was Advisor to the Army's Southern Command From the United States of America.

In 2022 and 2023, he held talks with a representative of Cuban General Intelligence. At these meetings, Manuel Rocha said he had worked as a spy for decades and bragged that he had never been discovered.

“What we did is huge. More than just a big hit,” Rocha told the undercover officer, according to the indictment.

However, the man who Manuel Rocha thought was the leader of Cuban intelligence services was actually an undercover FBI agent.

Procedures in American Justice

He was arrested and charged with several federal crimes, including being an unlawful alien agent and using a fraudulently obtained passport, according to the Department of Justice.

A man is seen raising two giant Cuban flags on the sides of a building next to the US Embassy – Photograph: Ramon Espinosa/AP