Associated Press : A former US ambassador admits to secretly spying for Cuban intelligence for decades Associated Press : A former US ambassador admits to secretly spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Associated Press : A former US ambassador admits to secretly spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Associated Press : A former US ambassador admits to secretly spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Former US Ambassador Manuel Rocha said he intends to plead guilty to charges of working as a secret agent for communist Cuba decades ago.

Manuel Rocha, 73, explained to a federal judge that he would plead guilty to federal charges of “conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government,” charges that could put him in prison for several years.

His defense lawyer stated that the Public Prosecution had agreed on the sentence, but the length of this period was not revealed in court on Thursday.

Rocha is scheduled to return to court on April 12.

When asked by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom if he would like to change his plea to guilty, Rocha said, "I agree."

Prosecutors alleged that Rocha engaged in "covert activity" on behalf of Cuba since at least 1981 — the year he joined U.S. diplomatic service — including by meeting with Cuban intelligence agents and providing false information to U.S. government officials about his contacts.

Federal authorities have said little about what exactly Rocha did to help Cuba while working at the State Department and in a lucrative career after his government service, which included a stint as special advisor to the commander of U.S. Southern Command.

Rocha, who spent his two-decade career as a US diplomat in senior positions in Bolivia, Argentina and the US Interests Section in Havana, was arrested by the FBI at his home in Miami in December.

The case depends largely on what prosecutors say are Rocha's private confessions, which he made last year to an undercover FBI agent who posed as a Cuban intelligence agent named Miguel.

The complaint stated that Rocha praised the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and described him as a “leader,” described the United States as an “enemy,” and bragged about his service for more than 40 years as a Cuban spy at the heart of American foreign policy circles.

He was also quoted as saying in one of several secretly recorded conversations: “What we did... is tremendous... it is more than just a major tournament.”

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