PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, JULY 9 -- The U.S. government publicly warned Haiti's military-led government and its political leaders today that it will cut off U.S. economic aid if either group permits "a perversion of the democratic process" on the way to an elected government here.

Separate statements by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holwill and Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams emphasized that the United States will back the provisional ruling council led by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy as long as it sticks to its promise to hold elections this year.

Holwill warned that any radical change in the three-man council, such as that sought by an opposition coalition that has led a national strike, would prompt at least a suspension and review of U.S. aid. He said that in any government changeover "there has to be some degree of continuity," but did not specify which officials would have to remain on the council to ensure U.S. support.

The U.S. threat to cut off aid is seen here as its most potent tool of diplomacy. Haiti is getting more than $100 million in economic assistance this year, or 20 percent of its national budget.

Holwill's warning was underscored by a statement from Abrams beamed here on a Voice of America Creole-language broadcast.

"Should Haiti fall away from {democratization}, because the {government} does it, because there is a lot of left-wing agitation that makes it impossible, because there is a lot of right-wing agitation that makes it impossible, because there is a Duvalierist coup, that's going to be the end of . . . solid support from the United States," Abrams said.