In Venezuela, since 1973, social participation has been present as a key process for national development projects in most Nation´s plans. During the past nine years current government has enhanced the importance of participation by incorporating it as a requirement for undertaking numerous laws, policies and/or social programs. In this presentation we will analyse and compare official and non official discourses of participation. Official meanings will be analysed through government representatives´ discourses and official doccuments (laws, policies, programs) referring to this process. Analysis of non official meanings of participation will be based on discourses of two social actors: community council members and university students who oppose the government. Implications for promoting participatory practices coherent with some of its principles and values will be discussed.