March 7, 2017 / 7:50 AM / 5 months ago

Bolivia's Morales will return to Cuba for small operation - media

Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony to mark 11 years of his administration during a session of congress in La Paz, Bolivia, January 22, 2017. Enzo De Luca/Courtesy of Bolivian Presidency/Handout viaFiles

HAVANA (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales will return to Cuba in early April for an operation to remove a nodule in his vocal cords, Cuban state media said.

The leftist former coca farmer went to Cuba for treatment on Wednesday after a sore throat robbed him of his voice, causing him to cancel public appearances.

The state outlet Cubadebate reported that Morales met Cuban media before leaving the country and told them he had been diagnosed with a virus and was now recovering.

Doctors had also detected a small nodule that they could only remove once he was off medication, in an operation that would last no more than 15 minutes, he was cited as saying.

"The doctors detected a small nodule in the vocal cords that they could have removed now but given I am currently on medication it will be in around a month," Cubadebate quoted him as saying.

Morales took office in the Andean country in 2006 and was elected to a third term in 2014. He said last year he may run for a fourth consecutive term in 2019 elections despite losing a referendum that would have reformed the country's constitution to allow him to run again.

Reporting by Nelson Acosta; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Dominic Evans

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