December 5, 2023

Former US Ambassador Arrested in Florida

We have yet another blackeye on our diplomatic core in the United States government.

Reports erupted this week of a former diplomat who has been arrested after a long-running FBI investigation.

Manuel Rocha, the former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia, has been arrested for illegally working to promote the interests of the Cuban government.

The Spy Within

Rocha was hired into government service during the Bill Clinton administration, serving as the top diplomat in Argentina from 1997 to 2000.

This, if you recall, was a highly unstable time in Argentina, with five presidents serving over the course of only five weeks.

When he left that post, he took over as the Ambassador to Bolivia, making a very controversial move, directly influencing the local election by threatening to pull U.S. aid to Bolivia if Evo Morales was elected.

At the time, he stated, “I want to remind the Bolivian electorate that if they vote for those who want Bolivia to return to exporting cocaine, that will seriously jeopardize any future aid to Bolivia from the United States.”

George W. Bush was the president at the time that statement was made.

More recently, Rocha was working at the Spanish Public Relations firm Llorente & Cuenca.

After his arrest, the firm stated, “Our firm remains committed to transparency and will closely monitor the situation, cooperating fully with the authorities if any information becomes available to us.”

Rocha was arrested on Friday in the FBI counterintelligence operation and is accused of serving as an agent for Cuba.

The Department of Justice did not provide very many details regarding his arrest, but we would expect a formal statement to be forthcoming.

This would, however, appear to be a result of the effort to hold accountable those acting as foreign agents without having registered as such with our government.

The DOJ was more or less forced down this road after prosecuting various Trump allies for illicit foreign lobbying.

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