Cuba has condemned the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, calling it an "illegal act" in a country that has been "driven into internal conflict."

The statement by Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Relations appeared Monday in the newspaper, Granma, the government's official publication.

The statement says Cuba has a moral obligation to speak out against, what it calls, the "assassination" of Saddam by an "occupying power," referring to the United States.

The statement says Cuba has not itself abolished the death penalty because of the "brutal war" imposed on it by the U.S.

The United States had held Saddam since capturing him in December 2003, but released him to the Iraqi government for hanging on Saturday.

Some information for this report was provided AFP and AP.