Former U.S. Ambassador Pleads Guilty to Spying for Cuba, Sentenced to 15 Years

Victor Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, pleaded guilty to acting as a foreign agent for Cuba, ending a case that highlighted one of the longest-running espionage schemes against the U.S. government. Rocha, who served in various senior roles within the U.S. government while covertly aiding Cuba, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The case was resolved after a plea deal was reached, which includes provisions for restitution and potential denaturalization actions against Rocha.

During his time with the State Department, Rocha held high-level security clearances and had access to sensitive information, making him a valuable asset to the Cuban intelligence. Despite his extensive espionage activities, Rocha was not charged with espionage but rather as a foreign agent, which carries a lighter sentence. This decision came because of the lengthy period between his alleged actions and the start of the investigation, making it difficult to pursue more severe charges.

The sentencing marks a significant conclusion to a shocking betrayal that spanned over four decades, with Rocha initially recruited by Cuban spies in 1973. The case has prompted a thorough review of security and intelligence protocols within the U.S. government, as officials assess the full extent of the damage to national security. Rocha has agreed to cooperate with federal authorities, providing details on his activities and the operations of the Cuban intelligence service.

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