Former US ambassador arrested, accused of working as Cuban agent

By Jen Krausz on
 December 6, 2023

Former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia Victor Manuel Rocha was arrested Monday and now faces charges of working as an agent for Cuba since 1981.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the arrest "exposes one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent."

"Those who have the privilege of serving in the government of the United States are given an enormous amount of trust by the public we serve," Garland told reporters Monday. "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.”

Rocha boasted at one point that his work for Cuba "strengthened the revolution immensely," authorities said of his arrest.

The former diplomat appeared in court for his arraignment in tears and said, "I understand" when asked if he understood the charges against him.

Working for the Cuban government is not in itself a crime, but doing so on U.S. soil without registering as a foreign agent is against the law.