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Bolivia's Morales to return to Cuba for throat surgery

Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony commemorating the "Dia del Mar" (Day of the Sea), which refers to the day on which Bolivia lost its access to the sea to Chile during the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific, in La Paz, Bolivia, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/David Mercado

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Tuesday he is returning to Cuba to have a small nodule in his vocal cords removed, in what would be the socialist leader’s second trip to the communist-ruled nation for medical attention this month.

“Tomorrow night I will travel with urgency. I don’t feel pain, it’s hoarse,” Morales, 57, told a group of coca farmers in the Bolivian capital La Paz. “I feel that everyday it’s getting worse, and it’s better to quickly have this minor surgery.”

Morales, who has led the Andean nation for 11 years, went to Cuba for treatment earlier this month after he was forced to cancel public appearances due to a severe sore throat.

He had initially planned to return to Cuba in April for minor throat surgery expected to last 15 to 20 minutes, Cuban state media reported during his visit earlier this month.

Morales won a third presidential term in 2014 but is barred constitutionally from running for a fourth consecutive term. Last year he said he may look for a way to run again even though he lost a referendum on the issue.

Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Paul Simao