Home Latest News American envoy becomes Cuban agent, sentenced to 15-year prison term.

American envoy becomes Cuban agent, sentenced to 15-year prison term.

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American envoy becomes Cuban agent, sentenced to 15-year prison term.

An ex-career diplomat and former US ambassador to Bolivia, Victor Manuel Rocha, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for working as an agent for Cuba. Prosecutors revealed that Rocha had been passing information to the Cuban government for over 40 years, making this espionage case one of the most high-profile between the US and Cuba. Despite initially pleading not guilty in February, Rocha reversed his plea in court, ensuring he would avoid a trial and face the consequences of his actions.

Dressed in a beige jail uniform, Rocha admitted his guilt in a federal courtroom in Miami, where he was also ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and cooperate with authorities. US Attorney General Merrick Garland referred to Rocha’s crimes as one of the most significant infiltrations of the US government by a foreign agent. Rocha, a Yale and Harvard-educated Colombian-born diplomat, previously served in various government roles, including as a consultant for the US military’s Southern Command, overseeing Latin America and the Caribbean, including communist Cuba.

The case highlights the tense relationship between the US and Cuba since the Cuban revolution in 1959, and the subsequent trade embargo imposed by the US. Former CIA counter-intelligence chief James Olson described how Cuba’s intelligence service had effectively outmaneuvered their US counterparts for decades, with Olson labeling Rocha as a “traitor” for betraying their country. Despite his diplomatic background and esteemed career, Rocha’s actions have now led to a severe prison sentence and a significant fine.

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