A former US diplomat was sentenced to 15 years in prison for espionage

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Victor Manuel Rocha, a former United States diplomat, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting to acting as an agent of Cuba, in what the US Department of Justice has called one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the US government.
He was accused of meeting Cuban intelligence operatives and falsifying information to US government officials about his contacts.
An undercover FBI agent posed as a representative of Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence and repeatedly met Rocha in 2022 and 2023.
To this agent, Rocha admitted his decades of work for Cuba, according to a court document.
The agent called himself “Miguel” and Rocha’s admission was recorded.
In 1962, Cuba also allowed the Soviet Union to secretly install nuclear missiles, which were detected by US surveillance.
Current US President Joe Biden has lifted some of the Trump-era sanctions on Cuba, but many remain in place, strangling the country’s economy.
Moreover, the United Nations General Assembly has – on more than 30 occasions – passed resolutions with near-unanimity, condemning the US embargo of Cuba.

NEUTRAL

Former US diplomat Victor Manuel Rocha was found guilty of being a Cuban agent in what the US Department of Justice described as one of the most extensive and persistent government infiltrations, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

For more than forty years, including during a twenty-year tenure in the US Department of State, US prosecutors claim that Rocha surreptitiously backed Cuba’s ruling Communist Party and assisted the nation in intelligence gathering against Washington.

David Newman, a senior national security official at the US Justice Department, stated at a news conference in Miami on Friday that “Today’s plea brings an end to more than four decades of betrayal and deceit by Mr. Rocha.”.

Mr. Rocha led a lie for the majority of his life. “.

The 73-year-old Rocha was detained in December 2023 at his Miami residence on suspicion of having participated in “clandestine activity” for Cuba since he began serving as a US diplomat in 1981, at the latest.

He was charged with meeting with agents of Cuban intelligence and lying to US government representatives about his interactions.

In 2022 and 2023, Rocha was repeatedly met by an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a member of Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence. According to a court document, Rocha acknowledged his decades-long service to Cuba to this agent. Rocha confessed, and the agent identified himself as “Miguel” on tape.

According to court documents, Rocha boasted about his more than 40 years of service as a Cuban mole in the US foreign policy circles and praised the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

He was quoted as saying, “What we have done is enormous—more than a Grand Slam.”.

As per US officials, the complete scope of Rocha’s collaboration with Havana might never be known.

relations between the US and Cuba.

Since Castro and his group of armed revolutionaries toppled a US-backed dictatorship, Washington and Havana have had tense relations for more than 60 years.

Following this, the US government launched the so-called Bay of Pigs invasion and made several attempts at Castro’s life in the decades that followed.

Additionally, Cuba permitted the Soviet Union to covertly install nuclear missiles in 1962; US surveillance discovered these missiles. Thirteen days of tension during the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly resulted in nuclear war between the US and USSR.

While former US President Barack Obama took steps to defuse tensions with Cuba, former US President Donald Trump undid some of Obama’s policies, prohibiting US citizens from visiting the island and imposing economic sanctions.

While many of the Trump-era sanctions against Cuba have been lifted, many still exist and severely restrict the nation’s economy. US President Joe Biden is currently in office.

Furthermore, the UN General Assembly has nearly unanimously adopted resolutions denouncing the US embargo on Cuba on more than thirty separate occasions. But the United States has a veto over any Security Council resolution that would allow the UN to take significant action against the embargo.

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