Washington – Former US top diplomat who most recently served as US ambassador to BoliviaHe was accused of acting as a foreign agent for Cuba, according to court documents.
Beginning in 1981 and continuing to the present day, Victor Manuel Rocha – a US citizen born in Cuba and now living in Miami – allegedly spied on behalf of the island nation’s intelligence agency, referring to the US as the “enemy”. According to prosecutors, it supports Cuba’s covert intelligence-gathering mission.
While the indictment did not detail the information prosecutors allege Rocha shared with Cubans accused of working with him over the decades, the indictment documents describe an ongoing relationship he cultivated with Cuban handlers.
Working with unnamed conspirators within Cuba’s intelligence community, Rocha “agreed to act as an undercover agent of the Cuban government,” incriminating documents revealed.
First as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic, Rocha advanced through various diplomatic posts in the region, including director of inter-American affairs for the U.S. National Security Council, the documents say. That role gave him special responsibility over Cuba policy, according to prosecutors.
Investigators said Rocha had access to sensitive information as a State Department employee, signed non-disclosure agreements and was required to “confirm his loyalty to the United States and the absence of covert action on behalf of any foreign nation.”
From 2006 to 2012, Rocha was an advisor to the commander of the US military’s Joint Command in the region, which includes Cuba.
Unspecified evidence from the trial court documents, combined with several meetings in recent years between Rocha and an undercover FBI agent, led prosecutors to bring the charges.
In three meetings in 2022 and 2023, investigators allege Rocha discussed his decades-long partnership with Cuban intelligence, telling an undercover agent during their first meeting outside a church in Miami, “My first priority … is any action on the part of Washington against the leadership … of the revolution.” It is life-threatening.”
“I have to defend what we’ve done, because I have to defend what we’ve done…reinforced cement over the last 40 years,” Rocha told the undercover agent during their second meeting, “and what we’ve done…it’s huge. …the Grand Slam.”
During their last meeting in June 2023, the secret agent asked Rocha if he was “still with us.”
“I’m angry. I’m angry… it’s like questioning my manhood,” Rosa responded.
Rocha is scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on Monday afternoon for an initial appearance.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said at an event Monday, “This action exposes one of the longest-running infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent.”
The Cuban embassy did not respond to a request for comment, and Rocha’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
Rocha’s initial appearance in court took place on Monday and he will be arraigned later this month.
The charges against Rocha come a year after a Cuban spy was released from prison after more than 20 years. Ana Montes, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, spied for Cuba for 17 years until her arrest in 2001, revealing the identities of U.S. secret intelligence officials and its highly sensitive collection capabilities.