General issues: Spanish colony 1921-1924
Country name on general issues: La Agüera
Currency: 1 Peseta = 100 Centimos
Population: No period statistics available. The population is presumed to have been less than 1 000.
Political history La Agüera
La Agüera is located in northern Africa. La Agüera is part of the Spanish protectorate, later colony, of Rio de Oro. The Spanish have claimed the territory between Cabo Blanco and Cabo Bojador as a Spanish protectorate in 1884. A claim going back to 15th century treaties between Spain and Portugal. The Spanish claim is awarded at the 1885 Berlin conference, where the colonial powers divide their respective spheres of influence in Africa. Thus, in 1885, the Spanish formally establish the protectorate of Rio de Oro. Rio de Oro is proclaimed a Spanish colony in 1900. The borders with French Mauritania are agreed upon in 1900 – the border near La Agüera running from north to south dividing the peninsula on which La Agüera is located.
Spanish control over Rio de Oro is at first only nominal, and de facto limited to the capital of Villa Cisneros. From the 1920’s, the Spanish make an effort to bring the territory under effective colonial rule. In the very south, La Agüera is founded in 1920 that will, initially, be administered as a separate colony – although de jure part of Rio de Oro. A fort is built and an airstrip is laid out. A factory is set up to process the fish caught locally.
In 1924, La Agüera is integrated into Rio de Oro and also, with Rio de Oro, La Agüera becomes part of Spanish Sahara. Currently, Spanish Sahara is the disputed territory of Western Sahara. La Agüera – nowadays called La Güera or Güera – is an all but deserted town, that, in the complex context of Western Sahara, is temporarily controlled by Mauritania.For more about Western Sahara, please refer to the profile of Spanish Sahara.
Postal history La Agüera
Stamps have been issued for La Agüera from 1921. The first is a set of provisionals – stamps of Rio de Oro overprinted ‘La Agüera’. A set of definitives is issued in 1923 – 3 000 sets were printed. The stamps from La Agüera are, from 1924, superseded by the issues of Spanish Sahara.