The Pope did not cite the government by name, but in his address in Havana, he urged Cuban authorities to let the church more freely preach its message and educate its young in the faith in schools and universities.
The remarks came before Benedict's eagerly anticipated meeting with Fidel Castro.
More top news
Questions on Russia and Syria are sure to dominate Defence Secretary Michael Fallon's meeting with his US counterpart Ash Carter.
Smoking could kill two million Chinese in 2030 with the country facing a "growing epidemic of premature death from tobacco".
A great-great-great-grandmother has become an unlikely star at the age of 93 after her grandson shared a video of her dancing to rap music.