[FBI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Clinton National Security Adviser Caught Working For Cuba

A former ambassador to Bolivia and a National Security Council member under Bill Clinton recently pleaded guilty to working for communist Cuba for decades, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Victor Manuel Rocha, aged 73, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002, has been handed a 15-year prison term for his involvement as an operative for Cuba.

“The allegations have stunned the US intelligence community, which has instigated an urgent damage assessment to discover what secrets might have been passed by a man who held a series of sensitive posts. These included ambassador to Bolivia, charge d’affaires to Buenos Aires and – embarrassingly – deputy head of the US interest section in Havana, Washington’s de facto embassy in Cuba,” according to The Guardian.

“It’s huge,” Jim Popkin, author of a book on Ana Montes, a former Defence Intelligence Agency analyst who spent 20 years in jail after being unmasked as a Cuban spy, told the newspaper.

“It’s unprecedented to have an ambassador accused of espionage. He served in the White House national security council, where part of his portfolio involved Cuba – and that’s a major problem. But to have served in the US interests section in Havana when it’s acknowledged that he was working for the other side is a nightmare scenario,” he continued.

“He would have had access to and known the status and names of operatives working in Havana on behalf of the US. That’s a very dangerous proposition.”

Rocha originally denied guilt in February 2024 but later changed his plea. The legal proceedings in Miami hit a snag when Judge Beth Bloom challenged the plea agreement’s adequacy, pointing out its failure to include victim restitution and citizenship revocation, The Daily Caller writes.

Prosecutors, however, reportedly argued the 15-year sentence was justified, pointing out Rocha’s age and his limited likelihood of surviving the incarceration. They later amended the plea deal to add victim restitution, with the possibility of denaturalization to be considered separately in civil court, the outlet reported.

“For most of his life, Mr. Rocha lived a lie,” David Newman, a top national security official at the Justice Department, said at a press conference, CBS News reported. “While holding various senior positions in the U.S. government, he was secretly acting as the Cuban government’s agent. That is a staggering betrayal of the American people.”

Details on what led the FBI to suspect the former U.S. official of spying for Cuba are unclear, but court documents mention a tip received before November 2022, according to CBS News. After the tip, the FBI watched Rocha’s meetings with an undercover agent, who Rocha reportedly thought was from Cuban intelligence.

CBS News, which first revealed the plot against America, wrote that “little has been revealed about what Rocha did to help the communist regime or how he may have influenced U.S. policy while he worked for the State Department for two decades. He held high-level security clearances that gave him access to top secret information, according to the indictment, which could have made him a valuable asset to Cuba, which has long had hostile relations with the U.S. 

But Rocha was not charged with espionage, and instead was accused of acting as a foreign agent, which the Justice Department refers to as “espionage lite.” Acting as a foreign agent carries a shorter prison sentence. Newman suggested the government did not have the evidence to back up espionage charges because there was such a long gap between when the most serious conduct was likely committed and when the investigation began. 

Investigators alleged Rocha was recruited by Cuba’s spy agency in Chile in 1973 after he graduated from Yale University. That same year, Chile’s socialist president, Salvador Allende, was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup. 

He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1978 and also holds degrees from Harvard and Georgetown universities. His career at the State Department began in 1981 and included various positions in Latin America. He briefly held an influential role at the White House National Security Council during the Clinton administration. His career at the State Department culminated in an ambassadorship in Bolivia from 2000 to 2002.”

Rocha will also be fined $500,000. He will likely die in prison.

This article originally appeared on New Conservative Post. Used with Permission.

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