Victor Manuel Rocha, a former high-ranking official in the administration of ex-President Bill Clinton, has confessed to spying for Cuba’s communist government for many years.

Rocha, 73, a seasoned diplomat who gained prominence during Clinton’s presidency, was formally charged in December for covertly working as a spy for Cuba. Having served as the U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia towards the end of Clinton’s time in office, Rocha informed a federal judge of his intention to plead guilty on Thursday. He admitted to conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government, as reported by the Associated Press.

This guilty plea, set to be finalized during a court hearing on April 12, was part of an agreement with prosecutors in which Rocha agreed to cooperate in revealing the extent of Cuba’s covert intelligence operations within the U.S. in exchange for the dismissal of numerous other serious charges he was facing.

In a press release from the Justice Department on December 4, it was disclosed that former Ambassador Rocha had been secretly spying for the Cuban government within the U.S. government for many years, and was only apprehended after he disclosed his extensive espionage activities to an undercover FBI agent whom he believed was a member of the Cuban intelligence services.

“This action exposes one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement at that time.

“We allege that for over 40 years, Victor Manuel Rocha served as an agent of the Cuban government and sought out and obtained positions within the United States government that would provide him with access to non-public information and the ability to affect U.S. foreign policy.”

“Those who have the privilege of serving in the government of the United States are given an enormous amount of trust by the public we serve,” Garland added.

“To betray that trust by falsely pledging loyalty to the United States while serving a foreign power is a crime that will be met with the full force of the Justice Department.”

The attorney general was echoed by FBI Director Chris Wray, who said in a statement:

“Like all federal officials, U.S. diplomats swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

“Acting as an agent for Cuba — a hostile foreign power — is a blatant violation of that oath and betrays the trust of the American people.”

According to the Department of Justice press release, Rocha, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Colombia, commenced his career with the U.S. State Department in 1981.

Throughout the years, he progressed through various diplomatic roles that increasingly impacted U.S. foreign policies.

These roles included assignments across Central and South America, with at least two directly influencing Cuba policies.

Rocha specialized in Cuba on the National Security Council from 1994-1995. Additionally, he served as the deputy principal officer at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana from 1995-1997.

After his tenure as the ambassador to Bolivia from late 1999 to 2002, Rocha advised the U.S. Southern Command of the Defense Department in Florida, covering Cuba, from 2006-2012. CBS News reported that Rocha was recruited as a spy for the Cuban regime as early as 1973 while residing in Chile. He was instructed to establish a credible cover story to conceal his double agent role and to infiltrate the U.S. government.

The extent of information Rocha shared with Cuban intelligence during his decades-long espionage remains unclear. However, his high-level security clearances in various positions provided access to classified materials.

According to the DOJ, Rocha was exposed when approached by an undercover FBI agent in 2022 and 2023, posing as his new handler for Cuba’s intelligence agency. Rocha boasted to the agent about his work for Cuba, referred to the U.S. as a common enemy, and praised Fidel Castro while calling other Cuban spies his comrades.