Bolivian president's throat surgery in Cuba 'successful'

Bolivia's President Evo Morales Ayma (L), speaks during the presentation of the Rally Dakar 2018 in La Paz, on March 29, 2017

Bolivian President Evo Morales is resting after "successful" throat surgery at a Havana hospital, a spokesman said Saturday.

Doctors removed a "small nodule" from Morales's throat that had prevented the 57-year-old leader from speaking normally, presidential spokesman Rene Martinez told the Telesur network from Havana.

Removing the lump took only 20 minutes, he said, adding that the procedure was "absolutely successful."

The leftist Bolivian leader himself provided an update on Twitter: "According to doctors: good operation, a success. Now just need to recover. Thanks."

Martinez said Morales was resting and under strict orders not to speak for at least four days.

Asked about the president's state of mind, Martinez said it was "very good." He said the timing of Morales's return to Bolivia would be decided in the next two days.

Morales, in power since 2006, has served three terms, and supporters want him to run for a fourth in 2019.

He has twice been operated on for knee problems stemming from his passion for soccer, and he underwent an additional operation to address a breathing problem.

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