A bipartisan group of lawmakers has told the administration that it is doing too little to help bring democracy to Haiti and should consider organizing an allied military intervention to ensure a fair election, three House members said.
A delegation led by Rep. Dante Fascell (D-Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Del. Walter E. Fauntroy of the District of Columbia, members of a special Haiti task force, urged Michael H. Armacost, undersecretary of state for political affairs, last week to explore sending a multinational force to Haiti before its Jan. 17 election, members of the group said.
At a closed meeting last Wednesday, the delegation told the State Department's No. 3 official that the administration has not acted decisively enough following violence last month that left at least 34 dead and halted Haiti's first scheduled presidential elections in three decades.
The lawmakers said they pressed Armacost to consider sending a small force -- not an invasion or occupation force -- to help guarantee that next month's rescheduled election is peaceful and democratic.
Armacost did not respond to a request for comment. But a knowledgeable State Department official said that the administration is not seriously considering the formation of such a peacekeeping force.
"The record is clear that no other governments would be interested," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "Nothing . . . has changed since the meeting last week."
Following the Nov. 29 election-day violence, the administration cut off $79 million in aid to Haiti for fiscal 1988. Congress has passed two resolutions calling for stronger sanctions against the army-dominated provisional government headed by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy.
State Department reports indicate that the army participated in the violence and may have organized it, an official said. Opposition candidates expressed new fears during the weekend, after the Haitian government published a law Saturday that allows it to monitor each voter's ballot.
Rep. Major R. Owens (D-N.Y.), who belonged to the congressional delegation, characterized discussions between Congress and the administration as "at an impasse."
"The administration is now listening a little more," Owen said, "but it is shrinking from action because Haiti is a black nation with no communist threat."
Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.), a senior member of the Foreign Affairs panel, said the lawmakers "raked the administration over the coals" at the meeting for its refusal to act more decisively. Solarz noted that the members pressed Armacost for consideration not only of armed intervention but also of trade and economic sanctions, an arms embargo and severing diplomatic relations.
But the State Department official said the department is not actively pursuing these requests but is "just gathering its breath and looking."