In a stunning development, Manuel Rocha, a 73-year-old former U.S. envoy with a long diplomatic history, has been detained in Miami. The arrest, which took place last Friday, stems from allegations of Rocha acting as an undisclosed agent for the Cuban government on American soil, as reported by a news agency.
Rocha, whose diplomatic tenure spanned over two decades and crossed multiple presidential administrations, is set to appear in court this Monday. This appearance is anticipated to shed more light on the specifics of the allegations against him.
An individual closely familiar with the Justice Department’s complaint has stated that Rocha is accused of engaging in activities that furthered the interests of the Cuban government. U.S. federal law mandates individuals representing foreign entities politically within the country to officially register their activities, a protocol Rocha allegedly failed to follow.
Rocha’s diplomatic journey, deeply rooted in Latin American politics during the tumultuous Cold War era, included postings in countries like Italy, Honduras, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. He is also recognized for his contributions as a Latin America specialist to the National Security Council.
When approached for a comment, Rocha’s spouse, Karla Wittkop Rocha, chose not to provide any statements. Similarly, the Justice Department has maintained silence on the matter, offering no immediate comments.
This arrest marks a significant turn in the U.S. government’s increasingly vigilant approach towards unregistered foreign lobbying, a matter that has seen heightened scrutiny in recent years.