Pope Francis has celebrated Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square, the symbolic heart of the Cuban revolution.
About 500,000 people packed into the plaza, keen to hear the first Latin American pope speak to them in their common language, Spanish.
“Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people,” the pope said in his homily. “Do not neglect them (others) for plans which can be seductive, but are unconcerned about the face of the person beside you.”
Between 30-40 dissidents were detained to stop them attending papal events, a dissident human rights group said.
Security agents wrestled two men and a woman to the ground at the edge of Revolution Square, then led them off, after they started shouting and tried to hand out flyers, a Reuters witness said.
The pope’s homily carried messages that both committed Communists and the government’s most strident critics could claim as their own.
“All of us are called by virtue of our Christian vocation to that service which truly serves, and to help one another not to be tempted by a ‘service’ which is really ‘self-serving’,” the pope said.