The Only Victim of the Victor Rocha Espionage Case is the U.S., Say Prosecutors

The statement came in response to claims by Cuban exiles that they are entitled to restitution for damage he caused them.

The Colombia-born former U.S. diplomat was arrested last December and later sentenced to fifteen years in prison. / EFE

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 22 June 2024 — Federal prosecutors argued that the U.S. government was the only victim in a case in which Victor Manuel Rocha was accused of spying for Cuba for over forty years. A court in Miami found Rocha guilty last April and sentenced him to fifteen years in prison.

In a statement presented this week in response to claims by Cuban exiles seeking restitution for harm they believe Rocha caused them, prosecutors argued that, since the U.S. government was the only victim of Rocha’s crimes, there are no other parties entitled to restitution.

According to prosecutors, the 73-year-old Rocha was found guilty of “acting as unregistered foreign agent,” not of passing national security secrets to Cuba.

“None of the offenses for which the defendant was sentenced involve the accused unlawfully passing information to a foreign government about any particular individual, or that the recipient of the information then used it to cause measurable physical or monetary harm,” states the document to which EFE had access.

Federal prosecutors say that Rocha is cooperating with authorities

Federal prosecutors add that Rocha is cooperating with authorities and that no one has presented evidence to indicate they were harmed by his actions.

Rocha, who served as U.S. ambassador to Bolivia and held high-level positions in several Latin-American countries, admitted to conspiracy and to “defrauding the United States.”

The former Colombian-born diplomat was arrested in Miami last December and charged with a dozen other counts of fraud and falsifying documents.

Two months later, Ofelia Acevedo, wife of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, filed suit in Miami claiming Rocha’s espionage activities for the Cuban regime represented one of “the deepest infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent.”

Regarding Rocha’s sentencing, she wrote, “As victims of the harsh injustices of the Cuban dictatorship, [we are] deeply concerned by the possibility that the U.S. government is trying to limit the [judge’s] discretion.”


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