The North American intelligence community was shocked after former Ambassador Manuel Rocha (73 years old) was arrested in Miami on charges of spying for the Cuban regime for more than four decades. Once the scandal broke, countless questions arose about the former diplomat’s espionage activities, such as: What damage his actions caused and the reasons behind his decision to cooperate with Castro’s dictatorship.
From his beginnings in political and diplomatic activity in North America, Rocha became an official respected and trusted by his colleagues. but, An article published this Sunday by guardian He confirms that despite holding various diplomatic positions in several countries in Latin America, She was developing deep feelings of resentment and “disguised” compassion for those who needed it most.
New York times This Sunday, an article was published referring to the humble origins of the former ambassador, who immigrated from Colombia with his mother, a widow who worked in a slave workshop and relied on food stamps and social assistance. In the 1960s, they moved to the United States, where they lived in Harlem, New York.
Fulton Armstrong He is a senior fellow in the Latin America Program at American University in Washington and a former CIA analyst. In an interview with the British newspaper, he outlined Rocha’s motives for secretly serving the Cuban regime in three words: “Ego, resentment, resentment.” He also suggested that Rocha may have never felt accepted among North America’s establishment elite.
“He’s a very smart man. Enter the State Department But he never felt treated fairly. Then you look at U.S. policy toward Latin America and there are many parallels to those same things.
Armstrong even thought about it It is very likely that Rocha was not recruited by Cuban intelligence, but rather presented himself as a “volunteer.”
New York times He explains that researchers in North America have not yet reached a conclusion Whether Rocha’s betrayal was motivated by money, ideology, or something else remains to be seen. The official accusation does not specify the nature of the agreements concluded by the former diplomat with the Cubans.
Armstrong had already met Ruscha Anna Montes, a former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst who spent 20 years in prison after being discovered to be a Cuban spy. Regarding the activities they carried out, he pointed out the extent of the development of Cuban intelligence. Rocha and Montes knew each other and served as North American government officials Without knowing that the other was secretly spying for the Havana regime.
“Imagine that you are in control of these two distinct sources of information, and that they do not know that they are both secretly working for the same president. The secret communications with Manuel were fascinating,” the former CIA analyst said.
Between 1981 and 2002, Rocha was a State Department employee and held various positions at U.S. embassies in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, and Argentina. However, the most interesting period of his career occurred between 1995 and 1997, when he was stationed at the United States Interests Section in Havana, Cuba; Years marked by intense tensions between the two countries. The former diplomat’s highest moment on Cuban soil was when, in February 1996, Castro’s army shot down two planes operated by the Brotherhood of Salvation, an American group opposed to the Castro regime, killing four people.
Rocha also served on the US National Security Council. This means that this is an official who has been in contact with and known to Washington highly sensitive information for more than 40 years. For this reason, since his arrest, North American intelligence has launched an urgent assessment of the damage he may have caused by discovering secrets he may have shared with the Cuban regime.
Jim PopkinSaid the author of a book about Ana Montes guardian Which “It is unprecedented for an ambassador to be accused of espionage.” He served on the White House National Security Council, where part of his portfolio was Cuba, which is a big deal. “But working in the US Interests Section in Havana when it was admitted that he was working for the other side is a nightmare scenario.”
“He would have had access and knew the situation and the names of the agents who worked in Havana on behalf of the United States. “It is very dangerous,” added Popkin, who did not hesitate to regard this scenario as a great “victory” for the Cuban dictatorship.
“What a victory for them to appoint someone to the State Department, and to see him rise through the ranks and eventually become the US Ambassador (…) If you look at Rocha’s career, almost all of his positions were in a place that would have been beneficial.” For Cuba. “They must have been happy to know how successful it was,” Popkin said.
“For more than 40 years, Victor Manuel Rocha served as an agent of the Cuban government and sought and obtained positions within the United States government that gave him access to non-public information and the ability to influence United States foreign policy. The United States Attorney said, Merrick B. GarlandAfter the arrest of the former ambassador.
According to the complaint, Since 1981, Rocha has secretly supported the Republic of Cuba and its secret intelligence-gathering mission against the United States by serving as a secret agent. And an agent of the General Directorate of Cuban Intelligence.
According to the indictment published in the North American judicial system, Rocha faces 15 criminal charges in a court in Miami (Florida), including espionage for the Cuban dictatorship and wire fraud. If proven guilty, He could be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison.