Fidel Castro calls NATO "brutal" for Libya role

HAVANA Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:53am EDT

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HAVANA (Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro denounced NATO on Monday for its role in the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, saying the "brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression the history of humanity has known."

Castro, 85, also expressed indignation at the killing of Gaddafi last week and the subsequent treatment of his body, which he said was "kidnapped and exhibited like a trophy of war, a conduct that violates the most elemental principles of Muslim norms and other religious beliefs."

His comments were published in Cuban state-run media in one of the occasional opinion columns he has written since falling ill five years ago and handing over the presidency to younger brother Raul Castro in 2008.

The elder Castro has sharply criticized NATO's intervention in Libya from the beginning and praised Gaddafi, a Castro friend, for his resistance.

He also has attacked NATO as an instrument of his longtime ideological foe, the United States.

His comments on Monday were the first from Cuba since Gaddafi's death.

Last month, the Cuba government pulled its diplomats from the North African country and said it would not recognize the ruling National Transitional Council or any government established with the help of foreign intervention.

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