Former US Ambassador Arrested For Being Cuban Spy

A former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia was arrested Friday and charged with working as a spy for Cuba.

On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that a counterintelligence investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation led to the arrest of 73-year-old Manual Rocha.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Rocha is being accused of working for more than 40 years for the Cuban government. He was set to appear in federal court on Monday to formally face the charges for the first time.

More details about the charges were expected to be released once he appeared in court, according to a story published by The Associated Press.

According to anonymous sources the AP cited for its story, the Justice Department is accusing Rocha of trying to promote the interests of the Cuban government.

As part of the charges, the DOJ says Rocha worked for the Cuban government but didn’t notify the U.S. government, which the Foreign Agents Registration Act requires.

Rocha first started serving as a foreign agent in 1981. He was ambassador to Bolivia between 2000 and 2002. He played a prominent role during the presidential election there in 2002, threatening that U.S. assistance to Bolivia would be cut off should Evo Morales — a former grower of coca — be elected.

During his 25 years in diplomacy, he worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations. Much of his work focused on Latin America during the crucial Cold War period.

One of his postings was a stint in Cuba for the U.S. Interests Section when America didn’t enjoy full diplomatic communications with the country’s communist government led by Fidel Castro.

Upon retiring from government work, Rocha worked for various companies, including a law firm specializing in public relations, a mining company, and an entity in the cannabis industry.

Rocha was born in Colombia but was raised in New York City. He obtained liberal arts degrees from prestigious schools including Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale.

He was arrested last Friday in Miami, where he now lives.

When contacted by the AP, his wife, Karla Wittkop Rocha, was short with them before hanging up.

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