HAVANA – Cuba harshly criticized former President Ronald Reagan (search) and his policies on Monday, saying he should "never have been born."
In the first reaction to Reagan's death from the communist government, Radio Reloj (search) said:
"As forgetful and irresponsible as he was, he forgot to take his worst works to the grave," the government radio station said.
"He, who never should have been born, has died," the radio said.
The statement did not mention Cuba's relationship with the United States under Reagan, a staunch foe of communism.
It also did not mention Reagan's decision to order U.S. forces to invade the tiny Caribbean country of Grenada on Oct. 25, 1983, because Washington feared the island had grown too close to Cuba.
Since the early 1960s, Cuba and the United States have been without diplomatic relations, and Cuba has been under a U.S. trade embargo. But relations between the two countries were especially tense when Reagan was in office from 1981-1989.
Radio Reloj lambasted Reagan's military policies, especially the "Star Wars" anti-missile program (search). The initiative, launched when the Soviet Union still existed, rejected a long-standing doctrine built on the idea that neither superpower would start a nuclear war out of fear of annihilation by the other.
The radio also criticized Reagan's policies in Central America, where Washington backed a counterrevolutionary rebel army that fought against the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. The United States also supported a conservative government that battled Marxist guerrillas during El Salvador's civil war.
"His apologists characterize him as the victor of the Cold War (search)," the radio said. "Those in the know knew that the reality was not so, but rather (he was) the destroyer of policies of detente in the overall quest for peace."