Sources say that Manuel Rocha, who previously served as a U.S. ambassador, has been arrested and accused of acting as an agent for Cuba.

Sources say that Manuel Rocha, who previously served as a U.S. ambassador, has been arrested and accused of acting as an agent for Cuba.

A previous U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, who used to work as an American diplomat, was detained as part of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. According to sources, the individual is being accused of covertly acting as an agent for the Cuban government.

On Friday, 73-year-old Manuel Rocha was taken into custody in Miami based on a criminal complaint. Further information regarding the case is anticipated to be disclosed during a court hearing on Monday, according to two individuals who spoke to the AP anonymously due to not being permitted to disclose details of the ongoing federal investigation.

According to a person, the case brought by the Justice Department alleges that Rocha was actively supporting the interests of the Cuban government. In accordance with federal law, individuals who engage in political activities on behalf of a foreign government or entity within the United States are required to register with the Justice Department. In recent years, the department has increased its efforts to prosecute illegal foreign lobbying.

The diplomat had a 25-year career serving under both Democratic and Republican governments, with a majority of the time spent in Latin America during the Cold War. This was a time when the United States implemented strong political and military strategies. One of his assignments was at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba, when the U.S. did not have full diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro’s communist regime.

Rocha was born in Colombia and grew up in a working-class household in New York City. Later, she earned multiple liberal arts degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Georgetown before starting her career in the foreign service in 1981.

During the years of 1997 to 2000, he held the position of the leading U.S. representative in Argentina. This was a tumultuous time for the country as it faced financial struggles and political turmoil, causing a rapid succession of five presidents within a span of two weeks.

During his tenure as ambassador to Bolivia, he actively got involved in the 2002 presidential election by publicly stating that the United States would stop providing aid to the impoverished South American nation if former coca farmer Evo Morales were to be elected.

Rocha delivered a speech emphasizing to the Bolivian voters that choosing candidates in favor of resuming cocaine exports could greatly harm the potential aid from the United States for Bolivia. This was seen as an effort to maintain U.S. influence in the region.

The gambit angered Bolivians and gave Morales a last-minute boost. When he was finally elected three years later, the leftist leader expelled Rocha’s successor as chief of the diplomatic mission for inciting “civil war.”

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

Karla Wittkop Rocha, the wife of Rocha, declined to provide a comment when contacted by the Associated Press. She stated, “I have no need to speak with you,” before ending the call.

After leaving his position at the State Department, Rocha embarked on a new career in the business world. He took on the role of president at a gold mine in the Dominican Republic, which was jointly owned by Canada’s Barrick Gold.

In recent years, he has served in high-ranking positions at various companies, including XCoal, a coal exporting company located in Pennsylvania; Clover Leaf Capital, an organization focused on facilitating mergers in the cannabis sector; the law firm Foley & Lardner; and Spanish public relations firms Llorente & Cuenca.

The CEO of Llorente & Cuenca’s U.S. operations, Dario Alvarez, stated in an email that our company is dedicated to being transparent and will carefully observe the situation. We will also cooperate fully with authorities if we receive any new information.

XCoal and Clover Leaf Capital did not promptly reply to a comment request. Foley & Lardner stated that Rocha departed the legal firm in August.