WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Justice Department announced on Monday that a former U.S. diplomat has been charged with secretly spying for Cuban intelligence. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Victor Manuel Rocha, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, acted illegally as an agent of foreign government.
A complaint alleges that Rocha acted as a covert agent of the Cuban government for over 40 years.
“This action exposes one of the highest reaching and longest lasting infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent,” Garland said.
The 73-year-old worked at the State Department and held several senior positions between 1981 and 2002. He also served as an advisor to the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.
Starting last year, the FBI arranged a series of undercover encounters with Rocha in downtown Miami.
“He told the undercover that his efforts to infiltrate the United States government were ‘meticulous’ and ‘very disciplined.’ And he repeatedly bragged about the significance of his efforts, saying that ‘what has been done has strengthened the revolution immensely,’” Garland added.
Rocha was arrested at his home in Miami on Friday. He was due in court on Monday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.