Communist Cuba Calls Saddam Hussein's Execution 'Illegal'

Communist Cuba on Monday condemned the execution of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and called for the end to the war it said had caused the suffering of millions of innocent Iraqis.

Saddam's execution by hanging over the weekend was "an illegal act in a country that has been driven toward an internal conflict in which millions of citizens have been exiled or lost their lives," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official National Information Agency.

The statement acknowledged that Cuba "has not yet abolished the death penalty because of the brutal war imposed on it by the United States," referring to the U.S. government's long-standing policy to undermine the communist country, including trade and travel sanctions.

Nevertheless, the island nation "has a moral duty to express its point of view about the assassination committed by the occupying power," the statement said.

The U.S. military had held Saddam since capturing him in December 2003 but turned him over to the Iraqi government for his hanging.