Accused Double Agent Denies Everything

Victor Manuel Rocha is denying that he served as a spy for four decades for the intelligence agency in Cuba.

A court document that was filed Wednesday showed that Rocha intends to plead not guilty to charges of being a spy for Cuba. He was indicted back on December 5 from a federal grand jury over allegations that he served as a spy.

His arraignment was scheduled for Friday, though he wasn’t required to appear in person. This initial appearance in court has been postponed two different times since the indictment was handed down.

In the court documents, Rocha said:

“I fully understand the nature of the offenses charged against me and the right to appear at arraignment.”

This case is “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

The AG added that Rocha sought out positions in the American government that “would provide him with access to non-public information and the ability to affect U.S. foreign policy.”

There weren’t any details provided in the criminal complaint against Rocha about what he divulged to his sources in Cuba, or how exactly he could’ve influenced policy in the U.S.

The indictment pointed out that Rocha held multiple security clearances that were high level, which meant he had access to a lot of information labeled as top secret.

Investigators believe that Rocha was first recruited by the spy agency in Cuba — known as the Directorate of Intelligence — while he was working in Chile back in 1973.

The FBI was looking into Rocha for more than a year before he was arrested, the complaint said. Rocha met with an undercover agent for the FBI multiple times, as he believed the agent was actually a representative working for the Cuban spy agency.

In three of those meetings, Rocha said the U.S. was “the enemy” and added “what we have done [was] enormous … [and] more than a grand slam.”

In the complaint, Rocha was alleged to have told the undercover agent:

“My number one concern; my number one priority was … any action on the part of Washington that would — would endanger the life of — of the leadership, or the — or the revolution itself.”

It also pointed out that Rocha detailed how Cuba’s spy agency told him he should “lead a normal life.” He even concealed the fact that he was living a double life by creating a cover story that he was “a right-wing person.”

The most recent alleged meeting between Rocha and his handlers in Cuba took place in 2017. Then, he flew to the Dominican Republic from Miami using his U.S. passport, then flew to Panama and finally to Havana using his Dominican passport.

Rocha was born in Colombia and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1978. He worked for the State Department for more than 20 years starting in 1981.

His most prominent position was ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 through 2002. Cuba was directly under his purview when he was the director for inter-American affairs at the National Security Council.