Former US ambassador, NSC member charged with acting as secret agent for communist Cuba for decades: DOJ

 A former US ambassador to Bolivia and a National Security Council member were accused of working against the US government for decades in "secret intelligence-gathering missions" to communist Cuba.

Attorney General Merrick B. "This action exposes the most far-reaching and longest-running intrusion of the United States government by a foreign agent," Garland said.

“We allege that for more than 40 years, Victor Manuel Rocha acted as an agent of the Cuban government and sought and obtained positions within the United States government that would provide him access to non-public information and U.S. foreign "Will provide the ability to influence policy," Garland said. "Those who have the privilege of serving in the government of the United States, the public we serve, are entrusted with an enormous amount of trust. Pledge false loyalty to the United States while serving a foreign power Betraying that trust by doing so is a crime that will be met with the full force of the Justice Department."

Víctor Manuel Rocha's career in covert work began in 1980, before his collapse in 2012.

According to a Justice Department release, Rocha is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Colombia.

The 73-year-old man had allegedly secretly supported Cuba and its "secret intelligence gathering missions" against the United States by working as a covert agent for Cuba's General Directorate of Intelligence.

According to a criminal complaint from the DOJ, Rocha used his employment at the US State Department between 1981 and 2002 to obtain classified information and influence US foreign policy.

Following his employment at the State Department, Rocha was transferred in 2006 to be an advisor to the commander of U.S. Southern Command, a joint command of the United States military whose area of responsibility includes Cuba.

The DOJ said Rocha provided false and misleading information to the US to maintain his secret status, traveled outside the US to meet with Cuban intelligence operatives, and made false and misleading statements to obtain travel documents.

According to the complaint, Rocha made several recorded confessions to an undercover FBI agent who introduced himself as a Cuban intelligence operative, who reached out to Rocha on WhatsApp and said he had received a message, "Your friends in Havana. From."

Rocha praised the late communist leader Fidel Castro, calling him "Commandant", branded the US an "enemy" and bragged about his service for more than 40 years as Cuba's mole at the center of US foreign policy circles. .

Rocha also described his work as a Cuban agent as "a grand slam".

Rocha was charged with conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General; Acting as an agent of a foreign government without prior notice to the Attorney General; and with using a passport obtained by false statement.

During a hearing in federal court in Miami on Thursday, Rocha said he agreed to plead guilty to two charges of conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, according to the Associated Press.

The AP said prosecutors agreed to dismiss more than a dozen other charges in exchange for his guilty plea.

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