Havana, Aug 2. – The National Assembly of People''s Power (Parliament) has approved changes to the political/administrative division law in effect since July 1976, including one that creates the provinces of Mayabeque and Artemisa out of the former La Habana province.
The changes were approved on Sunday, August 1, during the fifth session period of Parliament's seventh legislature.
Artemisa province includes the municipalities of Caimito, Guanajay, Mariel, San Antonio de los Baños, Güira de Melena, Alquízar and Bauta, along with those of Bahía Honda, Candelaria and San Cristóbal, which were part of Pinar del Rio province until now.
Artemisa's provincial capital will be the city with the same name.
Mayabeque's capital will be the city of San José de las Lajas, and the province includes the municipalities of Santa Cruz del Norte, Jaruco, Madruga, Nueva Paz, San Nicolás, Güines, Melena del Sur, Batabanó, Quivicán and Bejucal.
Like Artemisa, Mayabeque will work to produce food to meet its own demand and help to meet Havana's.
These changes allow the national capital, which is its own province to recover its historic name — Havana — and under the changes, it acquires the east side of the Cacahual plateau, where independence hero General Antonio Maceo is buried.
Also, Varadero will no longer be a municipality in Matanzas province. Instead, it is now merged with Cardenas municipality, and the Hicacos Peninsula comes under the direct administration of the Council of Ministers, given its importance to the nation's economic development.
Lastly, in Guantanamo province, the municipality of Manuel Tames absorbs parts of the neighboring municipalities of Guantánamo and Yateras, and its new municipal capital is the locality of Jamaica.
These changes are aimed to meet the needs of the country's social and economic development, and were approved after a broad process of consultation in the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People's Power, with representatives of state agencies, mass organizations, and residents of the areas involved.
Cuba is now divided into 15 provinces and 168 municipalities, including the special municipality of the Isle of Youth.
Its provinces are: Pinar del Río, Artemisa, Mayabeque, La Habana, Matanzas, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.
Parliament is also debating new traffic bill.
The law goes into effect as soon as it is published in the official legal publication, "Gaceta Oficial de la República de Cuba." (Prensa Latina)