Victor Manuel Rocha, a former American diplomat, was recently charged with acting as a covert agent for Cuba’s intelligence services for over four decades. Rocha’s espionage activities reportedly began in 1981 during his tenure with the State Department and continued long into his career in the private sector, including a period advising SOUTHCOM. The U.S. government is currently assessing the extent of the damage caused by Rocha’s betrayal, particularly concerning his access to top-secret programs and operatives in the region. His high-ranking position as an ambassador and his extensive knowledge of U.S. operations in Central and South America made him a valuable asset to Cuban intelligence.
Rocha’s espionage activities were revealed through his own admissions to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Cuban intelligence operative. During secretly recorded conversations, Rocha praised Fidel Castro and referred to the U.S. as the “enemy,” boasting about his long-term service as a Cuban mole. His tradecraft included counter-surveillance techniques taught by Cuban spymasters. The tension between the U.S. and Cuba, tracing back to Cold War acrimony and recent political shifts, provides context for Rocha’s actions. His service to Cuba possibly predates his diplomatic career, with initial loyalty allegedly demonstrated in Chile in 1973. Rocha’s educational background and diplomatic postings in various countries, including Bolivia, where he controversially intervened in the presidential race