Former US Ambassador Pleads Not Guilty in Spying Case

Former US Ambassador Pleads Not Guilty in Spying Case

( – On December 4, 2023, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that federal prosecutors charged former US Department of State employee Victor Manuel Rocha with multiple crimes. The DOJ believes he was acting as a secret agent for decades for Cuba for more than 40 years. Rocha recently appeared in court to give his plea.

On February 14, CBS News reported that the former diplomat pleaded not guilty. In a court filing, Rocha asked if he could be excused from his arraignment hearing, fully aware he has the “right to appear” for the proceedings. US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the case against Rocha was “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations” of its kind in the US government. The former government employee has access to information not available to the public and was in a position to “affect US foreign policy.”

At the time of his indictment, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the diplomat swore “an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Instead, Wray said he was acting on behalf of Cuba, a “blatant violation” of his oath and a betrayal of all Americans. He vowed to hold anyone who commits such an egregious act accountable, “no matter how long it takes.” The DOJ said Rocha, a naturalized citizen from Colombia, began acting as a Cuban agent in 1981, gathering intelligence “against the United States.”

The former official rose through the ranks during his tenure in the government, wearing several different hats over the span of his career. The complaint against Rocha said he had meetings with an undercover agent as recently as 2022 and 2023 when he “behaved as a Cuban agent,” referring to America as “the enemy.”

According to Roche, the spy agency in Cuba told him to “lead a normal life.” He reportedly created a cover story to hide the fact that he was leading a double life.

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