WASHINGTON — The Reagan Administration said Monday that Haiti's new government is "off to a good start" on a program that eventually could lead to democratic elections in the impoverished Caribbean nation.
State Department spokesman Charles Redman reported that the embassy in Port-au-Prince is already talking with the military-civilian ruling council about conditions for a resumption of U.S. economic aid.
"We believe that the government is off to a good start. But they have been in power for only 72 hours," Redman noted Monday. "We do expect further announcements of key initiatives to be made in the near future. We expect that the Council of National Government will govern on an interim basis only, and the Haitian people will soon have an opportunity to select their own leaders through democratic procedures."
U.S. officials said last Friday, shortly after Jean-Claude Duvalier left the country, that the American Embassy had advised military and civilian leaders on how to establish a government that could win the support of the Haitian public and the international community.