U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia Manuel Rocha arrested for spying for Cuba

The former United States ambassador to Bolivia, Manuel Rocha, was indicted and arrested over charges related to espionage for Cuba. Manuel Rocha was a high-level diplomat and advisor within the federal government. His espionage has been traced back to 1981 and continues into the present day.

Manuel Rocha was born in Cuba and is a naturalized American citizen living in Miami. His high-level clearance within the government gave him access to national security secrets. His indictment by a federal grand jury on 15 counts reveals an extremely dangerous breach within the federal government that directly aided a foreign entity.

He was found to have been providing high-clearance information from within the US government to the Cuban reconnaissance mission within the United States. A criminal complaint filed by the FBI in Miami states that Rocha had referred to the U.S. as “the enemy” multiple times, celebrated his work against the U.S. government, and continually disavowed his dedication to the United States, despite having signed contracts stating his alliance with the U.S. government as a part of his diplomatic job. 

His three current criminal charges are “conspiracy to act as a foreign agent to defraud the U.S.”, “acting as a foreign agent”, and “use of a passport obtained by false statement.” He is being held without bail, as according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Stratton, he is a “dual citizenship flight risk”. 

Prosecutors continue to stress the clandestine actions he took as part of being in the Cuban reconnaissance ring. His continued reference to the supervision of “the Diréccion” points to a larger motive for his entire diplomatic career.  

According to information released to the DOJ, Rocha has been working for the Cuban revolution for 40 years. His arrest is the first of a Cuban spy since Ana Montes in 2001.

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