Former US ambassador arrested, accused of secretly serving as agent to Cuba: report

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A former American diplomat who served as a U.S. ambassador to Bolivia has been arrested and accused of secretly serving as an agent of Cuba’s government, according to The Associated Press. 

Officials say Manuel Rocha, 73, was arrested in Miami on Friday on a criminal complaint.

According to sources, more details about the case are expected to be made public at a court appearance Monday.

One of the two people who came forward with the complaint said the Justice Department case accuses Rocha of working to promote the Cuban government’s interests.

Manuel Rocha, 73

Former US ambassador arrested in Florida, accused of serving as an agent of Cuba, AP source says (Photo by GONZALO ESPINOZA/AFP via Getty Images)

Federal law requires people doing the political bidding of a foreign government or entity inside the U.S. to register with the Justice Department, which in recent years has stepped up its criminal enforcement of illicit foreign lobbying.

According to records, Rocha’s 25-year diplomatic career was spent under both Democratic and Republican administrations, with the majority of it being in Latin America during the Cold War.

Rocha also served in Italy, Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, and worked as a Latin America expert for the National Security Council.

Rocha’s wife, Karla Wittkop Rocha, declined to comment when contacted by the AP. “I don’t need to talk to you,” she said before hanging up.

The Justice Department also declined to comment.

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