Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, was charged in relation to allegations that he worked as a covert agent for Cuba's intelligence services for decades, according to court documents unsealed and obtained by CNN on Monday (December 4).
Rocha, 73, was charged with acting as an illegal agent of a foreign government in relation to accusations that he "secretly supported the Republic of Cuba and its clandestine intelligence-gathering mission against the United States by serving as a covert agent of Cuba’s intelligence services," prosecutors claimed in the documents. The former diplomat allegedly engaged in clandestine activity for Cuba dating back to at least 1981, which included a meeting with Cuban intelligence operatives and providing false information to U.S. government officials.
Rocha served as the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002 -- under the administrations of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- the Deputy Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba in the 1990s, the U.S. embassy in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Consulate in Italy and a variety of other roles within the American embassies in Mexico and Argentina. The Colombian native later worked at the Foley & Lardner law firm in Miami, but resigned in August, a firm spokesperson confirmed to CNN.
Rocha is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, though it was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer present, according to the Associated Press.