Former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Manuel Rocha was arrested in Miami on Friday on charges of acting as an unregistered agent of Cuba, the Justice Department said.
Rocha, 73, was accused of failing to register with the U.S. government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and of providing classified information to Cuban intelligence officials, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Friday.
If convicted, Rocha faces up to 10 years in prison on each charge.
Rocha served as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from 1994 to 1996. President Bill Clinton appointed him.
According to the complaint, Rocha began working as an unregistered agent of Cuba in the early 1990s. He allegedly met with Cuban intelligence officials on numerous occasions and provided them with classified information about U.S. foreign policy.
Rocha also allegedly traveled to Cuba on behalf of the Cuban government and met with Cuban officials, including then-President Fidel Castro.
The complaint alleges that Rocha’s activities were motivated by his desire to improve relations between the United States and Cuba. However, his actions allegedly violated U.S. law and put U.S. national security at risk.
Rocha is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.