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Former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia Sentenced to 15 Years for Cuban Espionage

Manuel Rocha. Miami Herald
Manuel Rocha. Miami Herald

A former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia and National Security Council member was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on Friday, relating to his work as a Cuban spy.

As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Victor Manuel Rocha pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States as a foreign agent and failing to register as a foreign agent. In addition to the prison term, the 73-year-old was ordered to complete three years of supervised release and pay a $500,000 fine.

Prosecutors allege that in 1981, Rocha started gathering intelligence for the communist regime in Havana after making contacts with Cuban agents during a 1973 post-graduation trip to Chile.

According to his plea deal, the Colombian-born diplomat will assist U.S. intelligence agencies in their evaluation of any national security damage that his conduct has caused.

Rocha reportedly worked for the U.S. military after his retirement from the State Department.

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