QUITO – Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa returned Tuesday to this capital from Cuba, where he had undergone a successful operation on his right knee at the Frank Pais orthopedic hospital in Havana.
Correa arrived on board the presidential jet at the air base at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito at 6:10 p.m. (2310 GMT) where he was welcomed by Defense Minister Javier Ponce and other top military officers.
The president, who made no statement to the press after landing, descended from the aircraft with some difficulty and, once on the airport tarmac, he used crutches to move to the air base headquarters.
Correa was operated on last Friday by a Cuban doctor, Prof. Rodrigo Alvarez Cambras, who afterwards pronounced the surgery successful, according to Ecuador’s ambassador to Havana, Edgar Ponce.
The Ecuadorian leader had traveled to Cuba last Thursday with his mother, Normal Delgado, and his personal physician, Col. Francisco Torres.
Correa had announced his upcoming trip to Cuba on Feb. 6 and said that he had to be operated upon on the communist island because the surgery he required is not performed in Ecuador.
The president was operated the first time in Havana last September, at which time, he said, the decision was made to perform “another operation” in a few months time for a “cartilage implant.”
At that time he met with Cuba’s president, Gen. Raul Castro, and with his brother and predecessor, Fidel, the first secretary of the ruling Communist Party, and spent several days resting on the island with his family. EFE