Cuban police have arrested dozens of opposition activists, a week ahead of a visit by Pope Benedict XVI.
Most of those detained are members of the protest group Ladies in White, who are demanding the release of political prisoners.
Many were stopped as they staged their silent weekly protest march along an avenue in the capital, Havana.
The group says the country's Communist authorities have increased pressure on them in recent days.
The government says they are paid by the US to undermine Cuba's revolution.
The Ladies in White usually attend Mass together and then stage a protest march outside calling for the release of all political prisoners.
The Ladies in White have often faced harassment from government supporters.