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    HomeWorldRed Flags, Missed Clues: How Accused US Diplomat-Turned-Cuban Spy Avoided Scrutiny for...

    Red Flags, Missed Clues: How Accused US Diplomat-Turned-Cuban Spy Avoided Scrutiny for Decades

    Red Flags, Missed Clues: How Accused US Diplomat-Turned-Cuban Spy Avoided Scrutiny for Decades

    — Manuel Rocha was well known in Miami's elite circles for an aristocratic, almost regal, bearing that seemed fitting for an Ivy League-educated career U.S. diplomat who held top posts in , Bolivia, and the White House. “Ambassador Rocha,” as he preferred to be called, demanded and got respect.

    So former CIA operative Félix Rodríguez was dubious in 2006 when a defected Cuban Army lieutenant colonel showed up at his Miami home with a startling tip: “Rocha,” he quoted the man as saying, “is spying for Cuba.”

    Rodriguez, who participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba and the execution of revolutionary “Che” Guevara, believed at the time that the Rocha tip was an attempt to discredit a fellow anti-communist crusader. He said he nonetheless passed the defector's message along to the CIA, which was similarly skeptical.

    “No one believed him,” Rodriguez said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We all thought it was a smear.”

    That long-ago tip came rushing back in devastating clarity in December when the now-73-year-old Rocha was arrested and charged with serving as a secret agent of Cuba stretching back to the 1970s — what prosecutors called one of the most brazen and long-running betrayals in the history of the U.S. State Department.

    Rocha was secretly recorded by an undercover agent praising Fidel Castro as “El Comandante” and bragging about his work for…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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