World December 4, 2023 | 8:07 am

Former US diplomat, Manuel Rocha, arrested for collaborating with Cuba

Miami.- A former American diplomat, once an ambassador to Bolivia, was recently detained following an extensive FBI counterintelligence inquiry for allegedly acting as a clandestine agent for Cuba, as reported by The Associated Press. Manuel Rocha, aged 73, was apprehended in Miami, and further details are anticipated to be unveiled during his court appearance on Monday. This information comes from sources who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the ongoing federal probe.

Rocha is suspected by the Justice Department of aiding Cuban interests. U.S. laws mandate the registration of individuals who execute political directives for foreign entities within the States. The Department of Justice has recently intensified its efforts against illegal foreign lobbying.

Details about Rocha’s legal representation are unclear, and a previous employer’s law firm clarified they are not representing him. Attempts to reach his wife for comments were unsuccessful.

Rocha’s diplomatic career, spanning 25 years under both Democratic and Republican administrations, mostly involved assignments in Latin America during the Cold War. He once served in the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba when the U.S. and Cuba had limited diplomatic relations.

Born in Colombia and raised in New York City, Rocha is a Yale, Harvard, and Georgetown alumnus. He entered the Foreign Service in 1981.

His tenure as the chief U.S. diplomat in Argentina coincided with the collapse of a U.S.-backed monetary stabilization program. He later became the ambassador to Bolivia, where he controversially interfered in the 2002 presidential election, threatening to withdraw U.S. aid if Evo Morales was elected.

Rocha’s other diplomatic assignments included Italy, Honduras, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, he worked in senior roles for LLorente and Cuenca and Xcoal. From 2012 to 2017, he led the Barrick Pueblo Viejo mining company.

Karla Wittkop Rocha, Rocha’s wife, declined to comment on the situation.

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