Alleged Cuban Spy Arrested in Miami After 40 Years in Hiding

Alleged Cuban Spy Arrested in Miami After 40 Years in Hiding

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
December 5, 2023

Yesterday, December 4th, former US Ambassador to Bolivia Victor Manuel Rocha was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and charged with espionage.

Ambassador Rocha was arrested after an FBI counterintelligence operation gathered substantial evidence pointing to Rocha’s involvement with Cuban intelligence services.  

According to the FBI,  beginning approximately in 1981, Rocha, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Colombia, secretly supported the Republic of Cuba and its clandestine intelligence-gathering mission.  

Rocha climbed through the ranks of the US State Department and held influential roles that privied him to sensitive, nonpublic information and enabled him to influence US foreign policy.

The FBI reports that an undercover agent from the FBI posing as a covert Cuban spy obtained self-incriminating information from Rocha when communicating with him. 

Rocha allegedly referred to his work for Cuba as “a grand slam” and praised past Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro as the “Comandante.”

 Attorney General Merrick B. Garland explained the FBI counterintelligence operation “exposes one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent.”

Following his work for the State Department, Rocha reportedly served as an advisor to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command, whose area of responsibility includes Cuba.

 US Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fl) also commented on the news, criticizing President Joe Biden’s foreign policy with Cuba. 

“Havana doesn't sleep in its effort to infiltrate our country and cause harm. The regime continues to be a danger to our national security. Biden administration, wake up,” said representative Salazar. 

Salazar has actively participated in Congressional efforts influencing foreign diplomacy and she recently introduced a bill that supports the US’ commitment to the ‘Monroe Doctrine’. 

The Monroe Doctrine was first conceptualized by then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and was meant to be a national security strategy to stifle external influence in Latin America.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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