US authorities have charged a former ambassador to Bolivia with secretly working as an agent for Cuba for decades, according to the Justice Department on Monday.
Victor Manuel Rocha, 73, who served as the US ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002, faces multiple federal charges for allegedly acting as an agent of the Republic of Cuba’s government, the Department said in a statement.
Rocha has been working on behalf of Cuba since 1981, according to the statement.
“This action exposes one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
According to Garland, Rocha served as an agent of the Cuban government for over 40 years, obtaining positions within the US government that granted him access to sensitive information.
“Those who have the privilege of serving in the government of the United States are given an enormous amount of trust by the public we serve. To betray that trust by falsely pledging loyalty to the United States while serving a foreign power is a crime that will be met with the full force of the Justice Department,” he added.
Rocha is charged with three criminal counts, including conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, acting as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General, and using a passport obtained by false statement.
Following his detention in Miami on Friday, Rocha is expected to make an initial appearance before a US Magistrate Judge in Miami on Monday.
Source : aa