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#3160: Albright says US frowns on turmoil plaguing Haiti (fwd)


Albright says US frowns on turmoil  plaguing Haiti 
 By Charles A. Radin, Boston Globe Staff, 4/7/2000 

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said yesterday that the   
Clinton administration ''is very disappointed'' with the political      
violence now roiling Haiti, but has so far been unsuccessful in getting
former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide to help ease the situation.    
''We did the right thing'' by invading Haiti in 1994 and ousting the   
military leaders who had seized power, Albright said during a meeting  
with Globe editors and reporters. ''Horrible things were happening,    
people had their faces ripped off, thousands were [fleeing] on rafts.
But there is a genuine problem now.''Aristide was restored to the
presidency by the 20,000-strong US invasion, and billions of dollars in
American and international aid was spent restoring order and reviving
the economy and political system. But elections have been repeatedly
postponed in the past 18 months by  Aristide's successor and protege,
Rene Preval, who dissolved  parliament in January 1999 and announced he
would rule by decree.The impoverished Caribbean nation now is in a state
of political  gridlock, and politically motivated violence is rising. A
prominent journalist was assassinated Monday; thousands of elective
offices are vacant.'Aristide wants to get back [in office], no
question,'' said Albright, who was in the Boston area to drum up support
among business and  technology leaders for the administration's proposal
to normalize trade relations with China. With Aristide's broad support
inside Haiti, ''he ought to allow there to be parliamentary elections,
and then presidential elections. ... We are trying to persuade him he is
going about it in the wrong way.'' Anthony Lake, the US special envoy to
Haiti and former head of the  National Security Council, met Aristide
Wednesday in Miami, and a US official, speaking on condition of
anonymity, characterized the talks between the two as ''clear and
direct.It was a good meeting.'' But the official declined to say whether
Aristide made any promises regarding the timing of legislative
elections.''The electoral problems are procedural issues,'' said
Michelle Karshan, a spokesman for Preval, in a telephone interview from
Port-au-Prince.''That doesn't have to do with Aristide. That has to do
with the capability of the electoral council and the international
community.''She said the problems include making 4 million photo ID
cards for voters and establishing electoral offices in areas of the
country that don't have electricity, making computers and fax machines
useless. In the meeting at The Globe, and in a speech at Agilent
Technologies in Andover, Albright also strongly advocated administration
proposals before Congress for divorcing trade policy toward China from
 human-rights concerns and ending annual review of China's human-rights
practices. ''This is a very important national security vote,'' Albright
said, explaining that involving China in the World Trade Organization
and other international bodies ''is a way to have leverage over them
without  the US having to be the enforcer.''  She said that while the
administration has found attempts to link trade to human rights
ineffective, ''there is no doubt in my mind that the kind of           
information-technology goods that would be going into China'' in a  
free-trading situation would encourage broader human rights and
 freedoms there.

ohn Donnelly of the Globe's Washington bureau contributed to this