MIAMI (WSVN) — A well known Cuban exile activist spoke out after learning he is no longer allowed to stay in the U.S.

Ramón Saúl Sánchez, leader of the "Movimiento Democracia," or the Democracy Movement, was denied U.S. residency and was ordered to leave the country as soon as possible.

In a news conference, Tuesday morning, Sánchez expressed his disappointment. "The U.S. government sent me the letter that I was denied residency in the United States after almost 50 years of living here," he said, "and that I must depart from this country that I love so much."

The order arrived just as he planned to sail across the Florida straits as part of a "flotilla" off the coast of Cuba. The flotilla was organized as a show of solidarity with political prisoners in Cuban jails.

Sánchez, who obtained legal entry into the U.S. through "parole," had applied for permanent residency in 2002, so he could legally travel aboard the many flotillas he had organized over the years and so he could return easily to the U.S.

His permanent residency request was denied, and his parole has now also expired.

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