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Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a meeting with military high ranking officers at their headquarters in La Paz, Bolivia January 31, 2017. Enzo De Luca/Courtesy of Bolivian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS(reuters_tickers)
LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales took an "emergency trip" to Cuba on Wednesday to seek treatment for a throat condition, presidential minister Rene Martinez said, adding that the president would receive a "routine evaluation."
The throat complications have been going on for "quite some time" and have caused Morales, 57, to have difficulty speaking and prompted him to cancel public appearances, Martinez told reporters.
"Per medical advice, it was decided that our president would have a routine evaluation in Cuba," Martinez said. "Once it started getting worse, because he was having a lot of trouble speaking, this emergency trip was planned."
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.
Martinez said that within a few days, a preliminary report about Morales' health would be made public.
(Reporting by Daniel Ramos; Writing by Luc Cohen)