By EUGEN ROXAS
Juan Evo Morales Ayma, Bolivian president.
Photo © EL PAIS™ / España
ACHACACHI, Bolivia .— The information got to former U.S. Ambassador Clifford Sobel in Brasilia through the Brazilian defense minister, Nelsom Jobim, after a meeting between Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Evo Morales took place in February.
Jobim said Lula offered to Morales a treatment at a hospital in Sao Paulo and the tumor, never confirmed by La Paz, had taken to the Bolivian president to behave not normally at international summits held during these dates.
Doctors recommended surgery to Morales in October 2008 after suffering constant headaches and otitis. During that period, did not participate in several official events, but Morales postponed the operation until after January 25, 2009, when the constitutional referendum was carried, according to a report of Ambassador Sobel sent to Washington on 22 January of that year.
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 000093
STATE FOR WHA/BSC, WHA/AND, INR
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2019
SUBJECT: BRAZIL'S LULA OFFERS BOLIVIA'S MORALES TREATMENT FOR TUMOR
Classified By: Ambassador Clifford M. Sobel, Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)
¶1. (C) In a conversation with Ambassador Sobel following the January 15, 2009 La Paz meeting between Brazilian President Lula and Bolivian President Morales, Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim (protect) confirmed an earlier rumor that Morales is suffering from a serious sinus tumor. Jobim told the Ambassador that Lula had offered Morales an examination and treatment at a Sao Paulo hospital. Although there have been been public reports that Morales needs surgery for "acute sinusitis," and related otitis and headaches, according to Jobim his problems in fact are caused by a serious tumor and the surgery will be an effort to remove it. Treatment has been put off, however, until after the constitutional referendum scheduled for January 25. Jobim, who attended the meeting between Lula and Morales, commented that the tumor might explain why Morales has seemed unfocussed and not his usual self at this and other recent meetings. SOBEL.
The Bolivian government blamed the operation, conducted in February, a correction of the nasal septum of the president that would hinder breathing.
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