LA PAZ – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales announced on Tuesday that he must make an urgent trip to Cuba on Wednesday night to undergo the surgical extraction of a benign tumor of the larynx.
President Evo Morales said at an event of coca leaf growers in La Paz that he was making the trip because of “medical recommendations and the decision of the Cabinet and the vice president (Alvaro Garcia Linera).”
Morales said he feels no pain but he is very hoarse and “it’s getting worse all the time,” so he thought it better to “undergo a minor surgery” with a certain urgency.
According to the president, the procedure “is not a problem, it’ll be quick” – the real problem will be “the amount of rest needed to recover my voice.”
Morales discovered he had this condition early this month in Cuba after receiving emergency care for dysphonia (voice problems), sinusitis and abdominal pain.
Bolivian Health Minister Ariana Campero said that having the surgery immediately “is not related to any emergency” but is being organized so the president can return to Bolivia “as soon as possible” to resume his normal activities.
Campero said Morales will have the nodule on his left vocal cord extracted, possibly Friday, in a “very simple” surgery, which could last 20 minutes.
After the operation, the Bolivian president must have a 48-hour period of absolute rest and recovery, after which, as the healing evolves, doctors will know how long he should stay in Cuba.
Morales decided to be treated on the island after five Bolivian doctors were unable to cure his dysphonia.
The president has suffered dysphonia since January and the problem has been evident in his many speeches and at events he has attended around the country.