Former Venezuelan presidential candidate and current opposition leader Henrique Capriles on Sunday promised his compatriots in exile that he will send to Miami "some boats to fill with Venezuelans and bring them back" to the South American country.

At a public event organized by Miami Dade College, the opposition leader said that he will fight "so that the exiles can return to their country."

Before about 4,000 Venezuelans attending the event, Capriles gave a speech entitled "The struggle for democracy" and said that "the time will come for you to return, so that Venezuela can be what we all want."

More than 200,000 Venezuelans live in Florida, according to the opposition Mesa de la Unidad organization, which calculates that more than 20,000 are registered to vote in the South American country.

Onstage in Miami's James L. Knight Center and dressed in his habitual cap and jacket with the colors of the Venezuelan flag - red, yellow and blue - Capriles thanked "all the Venezuelans who are in exile" for mobilizing themselves in the last two elections "to change the country."

Capriles, who is currently the governor of the Venezuelan state of Miranda, narrowly lost the April 14 presidential election to late President Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition leader contested the results of the balloting in court, claiming that Maduro stole the election through fraud. EFE