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Old 06-12-23, 04:23   #1
 
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Movies Ex US Ambassador Charged With Secretly SPYING For Cubas' Intel Services For Decades

US Diplomat Manuel Rocha Charged With Secretly Spying For Cuba For Decades

Ex-Ambassador Charged With Serving as Secret Agent for Cubas' Intelligence Services For Decades


DailyMail 6 DEC 2023







A former career American diplomat, Manuel Rocha, has been charged with serving as a secret agent for communist Cuba going back decades in what prosecutors portrayed as one of the most brazen and long-running betrayals in the history of the US foreign service.





Court papers alleged that Manuel Rocha engaged in “clandestine activity” on Cuba’s behalf since at least 1981, including by meeting with Cuban intelligence operatives and providing false information to US government officials about his travels and contacts.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Miami, charges Rocha with crimes including acting as an illegal agent of a foreign government and provides a vivid case study of what American officials say are long-standing efforts by Cuba and its notoriously sophisticated intelligence services to target government officials who can be flipped.

“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.

“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.”

The 73-year-old Rocha, whose two-decade career as a US diplomat included top posts in Bolivia, Argentina and the US Interests Section in Havana, was arrested at his Miami home on Friday.

He wept as he sat handcuffed during his first court appearance on Monday and was ordered held pending a bail hearing on Wednesday.


His lawyer declined to comment.

The Justice Department did not reveal how Rocha allegedly attracted the attention of Cuba’s intelligence operatives nor did it describe what, if any, sensitive information he may have provided while in government.

Instead, the case relies largely on what prosecutors say were Rocha’s own admissions, made over the past year to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Cuban intelligence operative.


Rocha praised the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro as “Comandante”, branded the US the “enemy” and bragged about his service for more than 40 years as a Cuban mole in the heart of the State Department and elite US foreign policy circles, the complaint says.

“What we have done … it’s enormous … more than a Grand Slam,” he was quoted as saying at one of several secretly recorded conversations starting last year at discreet locations – a church and outdoor food court – in central Miami.





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