The U.S. policy toward Haiti has been moving toward intervention but an invasion "is not inevitable," Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., said Monday.
State Department spokesman David Johnson said last week the Clinton administration was now focusing on "enforcing" a July 31 resolution by the U.N. Security Council authorizing the use of "all necesary means" to remove the military leaders who took power in Haiti in September 1991."I don't think that an invasion is inevitable," said Hamilton, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appearing on the Fox network's "Morning News" program.
"My own sense is, a decision really has not yet been made," he said. "Clearly, events of the past few weeks are leading towards military intervention, but I don't think it's a sure thing yet.
"It is still possible that the present policy could work," he said. "I think we will not make a decision - or the president will not make a decision on this in the matter of the next few days or, perhaps, even the next few weeks - to give the present policy a little more time to work. "
The current U.S. policy is to enforce the economic sanctions against the military regime, and a strict embargo on Haiti that the Security Council approved last May, 32 months after constitutional President Jean Bertrand Aristide was toppled.
Washington obtained from the Security Council a green light to invade. However, the same cannot be said for the Organization of American States, where most Latin American countries oppose military interventions.
The OAS, however, supports efforts to secure the departure of coup leaders Raoul Cedras, Michel Francois, and Philip Biambi, to deploy a multinational peacekeeping force in Haiti, and to return Aristide to power.