Victor Manuel Rocha was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a fine for leaking information to the Cuban government

Victor Manuel Rocha, former United States ambassador to Bolivia, was sentenced this Friday (April 12, 2024) to 15 years in prison for espionage. He must also pay a fine of US$500,000 for leaking sensitive information to the Cuban government while serving the US government.

In a federal court in Miami, Rocha pleaded guilty to conspiring in favor of a foreign government since 1981. The former diplomat was born in Colombia and became a naturalized American citizen in 1978.

In December 2023, US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated what Rocha did “one of the most far-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent”.

Prosecutors stated that they discovered that Rocha was an undercover agent after an undercover operation by the FBI (Federal Department of Investigation).

In a conversation with an undercover Bureau agent, the American diplomat praised Cuban leader Fidel Castro and referred to the United States as “enemies”according to the indictment.

Before being US ambassador to Bolivia, Rocha was deployed in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Argentina.

After ending his career as ambassador, he served in Southern Command, a Department of Defense assignment responsible for coordinating the cooperation of US forces in Latin countries, including Cuba.


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