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Former US ambassador accused of secretly working for Cuba pleads not guilty

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Former US ambassador accused of secretly working for Cuba pleads not guilty

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A former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia accused of secretly serving as an agent of Cuba’s government has pleaded not guilty to federal charges, according to court documents.

Victor Manuel Rocha, 73, also waived his right to appear in court for an arraignment on Friday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, the document stated.

Rocha is charged with conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General, acting as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General and with using a passport obtained by false statement.

No details about the allegations against Rocha have been publicly released.

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Victor Manuel Rocha

Victor Manuel Rocha appears during an interview with an FBI undercover employee in Miami on Feb. 17, 2023, in a still image from video contained in a U.S. Department of Justice indictment. (U.S. District Court/Southern District of Florida/Handout via REUTERS )

Rocha is a former U.S. Department of State employee who served on the National Security Council from 1994 to 1995 and later as U.S. ambassador to Bolivia from 2000 to 2002.

Bolivian President Hugo Banzer shakes hands with Victor Manuel Rocha

Bolivian President Hugo Banzer, left, shakes hands with Victor Manuel Rocha, the new U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, during a ceremony in the Goverment Palace in La Paz on Aug. 3, 2000. (Reuters / DM/JP/HB)

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.

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

Manuel Rocha, 73

Victor Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, was arrested in Florida in December after being accused of serving as an agent of Cuba. (Photo by GONZALO ESPINOZA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Rocha was arrested in Miami on Dec. 3 on a criminal complaint. He remains in custody in Miami ahead of an arraignment scheduled for Friday.

Fox News’ Heather Lacy and Stepheny Price contributed to this report.

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