INTRODUCTION: It is fact that the boycott of Golden Tulip Hotels in Ghana has been already been blogged about here in Ghana in a post entitled “How long will Golden Tulip hotels remain under boycott?”.
The post that follows suggests why the travel ban was issued by the U.S. government four months after Libyan assets were frozen at the beginning of the Libyan rebellion in February. To the best of my knowledge, the travel ban was never made known to the American public travelling to Ghana ..
General Background: Gaddafi’s green flag flies in front of The Golden Tulip Kumasi City to this day. Gaddafi is on the run and the African Union and over 30 African countries do not recognize the Transitional National Council.Furthermore, the Government of Ghana has a 40% stake in GLAHCO (Ghana Libia Arab Holding Company) that manages and owns the Golden Tulip Hotels in Ghana. As referred to above, on September 1, accra expat website editor posted an item on the boycott. The boycott here in Ghana began on June 21st as “additional sanctions”.
Personal Background: On June 20, I was at the Golden Tulip Kumasi City and saw this meeting room notice…
This prompted me write to the American Embassy Accra on June 21st to find out the position of the U.S. government on the Golden Tulip hotels.
Here is my e-mail:
Saved: June-21-11 9:56:04 AM
I would like to know whether or not there is a ban on American federal employees staying at the Golden Tulip Hotels. I do remember such a ban being imposed a number of years ago when relations between the US and Libya were strained. I’d also like to know if an advisory has been issued to American tourists visiting Ghana….
Yesterday I posted an item entitled “Gaddafi in Kumasi”. Since Americans are still frequenting the two Golden Tulips, I presume that there is now no connection between the Ghana Libya Arab Holding Company and the Gaddafi family. My next post is entitled “Gaddafi definitely not in Ghana”
Just seeking confirmation…
Here is the reply dated June 21st:
Add to contacts
To chris scott
After checking into the matter, I can tell you that All Americans are banned from the Golden Tulip Hotels and no American Government money may be spent there.
I hope this answers your question!
Have a great day.
Co-Community Liaison Coordinator
US Embassy Accra
Office (233) 030-274-1239
Cell (233) 054-958-5269
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
Note: Needless to say, there would never be a post “Gaddafi definitely not in Ghana” and ….coward that I am….I never wrote a post “Gaddafi in Ghana @ the Golden Tulip Hotels” Why? Nobody knew..not even the Community Liason Officer at the American Embassy Accra who wrote “after checking into the matter”. More importantly, Ghana is my home and I would not want to live anywhere else.
On June 28, I attended a cocktail party at the Canadian High Commission in Accra in celebration of Canada Day. There I met the editor of the website Accra Expat Claude P. Charronneau for the first time. During the conversation, I mentioned my query at the U.S. Embassy.
On September 1st, I got this e-mail from Claude:
Golden Tulip hotels
How are you and what’s up in Kumasi?
You may want to check my new blog post about Golden Tulip hotels
Thank you and best regards,
REGARDING ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS, WHAT AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE THAT ON THE VERY DAY, JUNE 21ST, I MADE MY ENQUIRY AND RECEIVED THE PROMPT RESPONSE BACK IN A COUPLE OF HOURS, THE PRESS RELEASE WAS ISSUED”
It’s strange that it took until June 21st to issue a travel ban on the Golden Tulip Hotels. It’s not like this was a first. A ban had been issued around 2003 when Libya had been suspected of concealing WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction).
I guess nobody had suspected that Gaddafi would hold out so long.
Here is a quote from that Press Release from State:
Following the original sanctions on Libya taken by the US government on February 25, 2011, additional sanctions on 21 June 2011 specifically target GLAHCO, the company owning the hotels.
The position of American Embassy, Accra on the boycott of Golden Tulip hotels has been clearly stated that same day:
“…all Americans are banned from the Golden Tulip Hotels and no American Government money may be spent there.”
And to comment on the question “How long will Golden Tulip hotels remain under boycott?”..don’t think for one minute that the boycott hurts business at the Golden Tulips. NOBODY KNOWS AND THEREFORE HOW CAN ANYBODY, GHANAIAN OR EXPATRIATE, EXERCISE HIS OR HER CONSCIENCE!
And lastly, heaven forbid, if I ever wrote that post “Gaddafi in Ghana @ the Golden Tulip Hotels”. Rumours are flying as to his whereabouts…perhaps getting ever closer to Ghana… But our home, Ghana, unlike his Libya under his tyrannical 42 year rule , cherishes democracy characterized by the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of information…at least I hope so!
UPDATE: On September 9th, the Government of Ghana decided to extend diplomatic recognition to the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya as the legitimate ruling authority of the country.