Ex-Ambassador to Bolivia arrested on spying charges

December 4, 2023

A former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia has been arrested over allegations of spying, according to a new report.

The arrest details were outlined in a report from the Associated Press on Sunday.

What happened?

"Manuel Rocha, 73, was arrested on a criminal complaint, with further details anticipated to emerge at a court hearing scheduled for Monday, according to AP. Rocha is suspected of acting in the interests of the Cuban government, according to an AP anonymous source," the Daily Caller reported.

"Under U.S. law, individuals engaged in political activities for a foreign nation must register with the Justice Department. The department has recently escalated its enforcement against unauthorized foreign lobbying. They have not commented on Rocha’s case. Attempts to reach Rocha for comment were unsuccessful," it added.

The arrest

"Rocha is 'accused of secretly serving as an agent of Cuba's government,' according to the AP," ABC News reported.

"Rocha served as a career U.S. foreign service officer before being appointed to U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, in 2000, according to a State Department biography. A Department of Justice spokesperson declined to comment," it continued.

The background

"According to records, Rocha’s 25-year diplomatic career was spent under both Democratic and Republican administrations, with the majority of it being in Latin America during the Cold War," Fox News reported.

"Rocha also served in Italy, Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and worked as a Latin America expert for the National Security Council," it noted.

The Justice Department has so far been quiet in the case involving the former American ambassador, leaving room for much speculation regarding what has been known and for how long in the case.

The arrest occurred in Miami on Friday, with the former official reportedly in U.S. custody.

The shocking allegations come alongside several claims in recent years of spying involving the Cuban government that adds to growing concerns of national security related to the nearby communist nation that has appeared to be on the increase under the Biden administration.

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