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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Former US ambassador, spying for Cuba, gets 15-year jail sentence

Victor Manuel Rocha sentenced for spying for communist nation for over four decades

By Web Desk
April 13, 2024
Victor Manuel Rocha pleads guilty to defrauding the US government and acting as an illegal agent for a foreign government. — AFP/File
Victor Manuel Rocha pleads guilty to defrauding the US government and acting as an illegal agent for a foreign government. — AFP/File

A former United States ambassador to Bolivia was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday, for spying for Cuba for over a period of four decades, AFP reported.

Victor Manuel Rocha pleaded guilty to "acting as an illegal agent for a foreign government," and for defrauding the US government.

Rocha, 73, was arrested last December in what the US officials believe to be "one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent."

He has been charged with five years in prison for conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, 10 years for acting as a foreign agent, along with a $500,000 fine.

During the court hearings in Miami, Rocha admitted to taking full responsibility to which the judge remarked, "You turned your back on this country over and over again."

Rocha is a naturalised US citizen from Colombia and has served as an ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002.

The former envoy has also served as the deputy principal officer of the US Interests Section in Cuba in the 1990s and worked in embassies in in the Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico and Argentina.