Former US Ambassador to Bolivia to Plead Guilty in 40-Year Cuban Espionage Case

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 02/29/2024
A court was informed on Thursday that the former US ambassador to Bolivia, who is accused of espionage for Cuba for forty years, will enter a guilty plea. The US authorities described Victor Manuel Rocha, 73,'s December arrest as "one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent."

During a pre-trial meeting on Thursday, Rocha informed Judge Beth Bloom that he intended to modify his plea. Two weeks before, he had entered a not guilty plea to charges of conspiring to serve as an agent of a foreign government. The court scheduled April 12 as the official date for Rocha to officially enter a guilty plea and receive his sentence.

According to US investigators, Rocha, a naturalized US citizen originating from Colombia, reportedly started working with Havana as a clandestine agent of the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) in 1981 and carried out espionage operations until his detention.

In a statement announcing Rocha's detention, Attorney General Merrick Garland said that Rocha had "repeatedly referred to the United States as 'the enemy'" and "repeatedly boasted about the importance of his actions."

Rocha began working for the State Department in 1981 and advanced through the ranks to become a career diplomat. She held positions in Washington, the Dominican Republic, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Havana, and Mexico City.

Rocha held positions as president Bill Clinton's National Security Council member from 1994 to 1995 and as Clinton and George W. Bush's ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002. In addition, he advised the US military leadership in charge of Cuba.

According to Rocha's criminal complaint, during several encounters with an undercover FBI agent starting in November 2022, he "acted like a Cuban agent," praising the late leader of the communist island, Fidel Castro, and "used the phrase 'we' to designate himself and Cuba."

He acknowledged that he had gone to Havana in 2016 or 2017 to meet with his DGI handlers, and he had requested the undercover agent to give the DGI "my kind greetings." Walter Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Myers, two Americans charged in 2009 on allegations of espionage for Cuba for over 30 years, were among the other Americans detained for disclosing secrets to Havana.


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