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Former US Diplomat Victor Manuel Rocha Sentenced To 15 Years For Spying For Cuba

The US Justice Department says Victor Manuel Rocha spied for Cuba over forty years, including his 20 years as a diplomat.

Victor Manuel Rocha, a former United States diplomat, has been handed a 15-year prison sentence after confessing to working as an agent for Cuba, in what the US Department of Justice has labelled as one of the most extensive and enduring infiltrations of the US government.

US prosecutors revealed that Rocha clandestinely supported Cuba’s Communist Party and assisted in the country’s intelligence operations against the United States for over four decades, spanning his 20-year tenure in the US Department of State.

“Today’s plea brings an end to more than four decades of betrayal and deceit by Mr. Rocha,” stated David Newman, a senior national security official at the US Justice Department during a press conference in Miami, who further said that “for most of his life, Mr Rocha lived a lie.”

Rocha, aged 73, was apprehended at his Miami residence in December 2023 on charges of engaging in covert activities for Cuba since at least 1981, when he commenced his diplomatic career. Allegations against him include liaising with Cuban intelligence agents and providing false information to US government officials regarding his contacts.

Undercover FBI agents, posing as representatives of Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence, interacted with Rocha multiple times between 2022 and 2023. During these encounters, Rocha confessed to his decades-long collaboration with Cuba. Recorded conversations reveal Rocha’s admiration for the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his boasting about serving as a Cuban informant within US foreign policy circles for over 40 years.

Prosecutors cited Rocha’s self-congratulatory remarks, including his assertion that their actions were “enormous” and amounted to “more than a Grand Slam.”

US officials have expressed uncertainty regarding the full extent of Rocha’s cooperation with Havana, highlighting the challenges in assessing the damage caused by his espionage activities.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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