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From 1976 to 2010, the former province of Havana was the only one who did not have a provincial capital in its territory, its institutions and administration offices were located in the capital of the country; in addition to the 19 municipalities it has, the largest amount in Cuba. It was also the province of the fastest growing population in the period 1998-2008. These reasons, along with other functionality, and taking into account its particular geographic configuration with the City of Havana in its center, conditioned its division into two new provinces: Mayabeque and Artemisa. So, on August 1, 2010 the National Assembly of Popular Power in Cuba, agreed the creation of these two provinces.

Its name comes from Mayabeque River and the beach of the same name on the south coast. The capital of this province is the city of San Jose de las Lajas.

It is the smallest province of the country with the exception of Havana and the least populated. San Jose also becomes the smaller provincial capital of Cuba.

In this territory is located the first site where the village San Cristobal de La Habana was founded in 1514, after moving to its final settlement in the north coast in 1519.

The growth of the town was associated with the prosperity of the sugar industry. Here it was built the first sugar mill moved by hydraulic power: the Ingenio Alejandria, whose ruins are now National Monument. In 1837, there were built the first railroad in Cuba and Latin America between Havana and Bejucal, and up to Guines in 1839, six years before of its construction in the metropolis. Cuba was the seventh country in the world to have Railroad that made possible the transportation of sugar to Havana, facilitating export.

The territory was an important scenario of the War of Independence led by Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo, who carried out the invasion to the West.

Also several young people of the territory took place in the Assault on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba on July 26, 1953, which is considered the beginning of the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro.

During the literacy campaign in 1961, one of the municipality of this province was declared the first territory free of illiteracy in the country.

The total population of the province is 381 416 inhabitants in 2009, representing the 3.4% of the country. Its economy is basically agro industrial. It is also a region of a highly industrial diversified potential, particularly in the construction material industries.

The beaches of Jibacoa in the north coast are the main attraction of the province, with a typical view of a deep blue sea (Gulf Stream) and a coastal rocky hills. The beaches on the south coast are characterized by muddy shallow waters.

The province has significant results at a country level in scientific research in the field of agriculture.

The province has an outstanding cultural tradition, as part of its Afro Cuban legacy. Las Charangas de Bejucal, are one of the three traditional popular parties longest established in the country, celebrated in December.