On February 5, several Venezuelan civil society organizations, academic groups, labor unions, and social movements came together in Caracas to announce a new, non-partisan coalition to push for democratic change in the country: the National Civic Forum (Foro Cívico Nacional). After a series of presentations from faith groups, academics, and humanitarian workers, the coalition issued a wide-ranging statement focused on the urgent need for a negotiated solution to the country’s deep economic and political crisis.

The ten-point statement issued by the Foro Cívico on February 5, copied in full below, is a snapshot of the demands that this independent civil society coalition is placing on all political actors in the country. It makes clear that the Foro Cívico does not seek to replace or supplant political actors, but instead sees its role as vital to pressuring for political elites to seek a peaceful, democratic solution. In a way it is a blueprint for a path out of Venezuela’s crisis, towards what the group calls “A National Democratic Agreement,” and should be read by every stakeholder inside and outside the country.

We at WOLA have been deeply supportive of Dialogo Social, the independent civil society coalition that helped organize the Foro Cívico, and believe that the group’s emergence is one of the few bright spots in a largely dim panorama in Venezuela today. We have co-organized several events the build awareness of the coalition and its goals, and will continue to try to build bridges connecting policymakers in Washington and across the international community with independent civil society working for a peaceful, democratic solution. 

The full statement is available in its original Spanish, and below:

It’s Time to Understand One Another

  1. The citizens, organizations, and social movements that subscribe to this communiqué, consider that the time has come to clearly express our unwavering commitment to the path of peace, understanding and the construction of a negotiated solution that has the people at the center of its action. 
  2. We ratify our commitment to the construction of a peaceful, constitutional and electoral solution to the Venezuelan conflict. Convinced that, as Prof. Pedro Nikken said, “negotiation is not the best way, it is the only way before a disaster”
  3. We present the National Civic Forum as a space for the articulation and action of a plurality of social actors who aspire to contribute to the construction of a prompt solution to the crisis in Venezuela. The initiative is the result of a growing process of articulation that has been carried out since 2017 through the dynamics of Social Dialogue. Its main objective is to unite the most diverse sectors of the country, businessmen, unions, social organizations, unions, faith communities, academies and universities, among others, with the purpose of proposing ways of solving the serious situation we and millions of Venezuelans are going through, inside and outside the country.
  4. The National Civic Forum seeks to incorporate the voices of diverse social sectors in the transcendental decisions of the nation. We have the will to act decisively in seeking answers to the serious problems of Venezuelans, as well as in the respect for human rights and the reestablishment of democratic institutions in Venezuela. 
  5. From civil society we consider it essential that the organizations and political forces define, with the support of civil society, a roadmap that allows Venezuela to get out of stagnation, an urgent task to avoid prolonging the people’s suffering. This roadmap should re-establish communication channels with the government. 
  6. In addition to a restoration of democracy, we Venezuelans yearn for a significant change in current living conditions. Achieving this requires building spaces for genuine dialogue between the parties in conflict, and becoming their guardians and guarantors, exercising our civic duty. 
  7. It is in our capacity as citizens that we demand from those who hold power urgent attention to the ills that affect us as a nation, always in strict compliance with the National Constitution and international covenants on human rights signed by the Venezuelan State. It is within this framework that we propose the development of the necessary communication challenges to redesign a negotiation mechanism that guides the country towards a future of peace, well-being and progress for all. 
  8. The diverse factors that come together in the National Civic Forum have held multiple meetings with actors across the political spectrum in search of humanitarian solutions to the suffering of the people. We propose the creation of a permanent framework of shared principles and practices that will lead to solving the social emergency and the reinstitutionalization of our democracy. 
  9. There are issues that cannot be postponed that transcend political differences and that are not contradictory to efforts to restore democracy. Today it is essential to activate the vaccination programs against Covid-19, and this requires reaching urgent agreements and promoting mechanisms and regulatory frameworks that guarantee the greatest coverage of the population. In the same way, the serious state of health, food, and education in the country, as well as the defense of our territorial sovereignty, must be addressed with international humanitarian support. Civil society and the government can and must speak on these issues to seek urgent solutions. 
  10. We call on the international community to support, in a coordinated and purposeful manner, the efforts made by the Venezuelan society to demand all political actors to participate in the task of reaching progressive agreements that result in benefits for the population, and whose concretion does not interfere in the dynamics that must occur between the parties in conflict for the resolution of the political problem, but rather serves as a fertilizer to establish the confidence and the necessary negotiation mechanisms to approach a National Democratic Agreement. 

A NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC AGREEMENT that enjoys the approval and enthusiasm of the majority of the population to thus open the process of reinstitutionalization of the State through the holding of free elections, with fair rules and verifiable results. An agreement to move forward and assume collective responsibility in building the future, saving lives and avoiding more suffering and more victims. An agreement based on principles of justice, truth, reparation and non-repetition; that promotes the democratization of the country, guarantees unrestricted respect for human rights and reunites society. An agreement that, in addition, makes possible accessing international financial resources, belonging both to the nation and international partners, essential to overcome the complex humanitarian emergency (CHE). An agreement that is the product of consensus between the different political and social forces that make life in the country. 


During the II National Civic Forum meeting 

Palace of the National Academies 

February 5, 2021.

Signing Organizations:
100% Estrógeno,
A.C. Radar de los Barrios,
Academia Nacional de la Historia,
Academia Nacional de Medicina,
Acceso a la Justicia,
Acción Solidaria,
Alianza Venezolana por la Salud,
Amigos de Sotillo A.C.,
Anco A.C. Monagas,
Aquí Cabemos Todos
Asociación Civil Compromiso Ciudadano,
Asociación Civil Fomentando Alegría y Bienestar Infantil. AC FABI,
Asociación Civil Gente del Petróleo
Asociación Civil de Planificación Familiar,
Asociacion Civil TEATRO ABIERTO
Asociación Civil Uniandes,
Asociacion de Profesores de la Universidad del Zulia APUZ,
Asociacion Venezolana para la Hemofilia,
AVESA, Asociación Venezolana para una Educación Sexual Alternativa,
Baruta en Movimiento
Caleidoscopio Humano,
Caracas Ciudad Plural,
Cátedra de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado,
Cátedra Libre Democracia y Elecciones de la UCV,
Central de Trabajadores ASI Venezuela,
Centro de Animacion Juvenil,
Centro de Formación para la Democracia-CFD,
Centro de Justicia y Paz CEPAZ,
Ciudadanía Activa,
Ciudadanía con Compromiso A.C.,
Ciudadanos Integrados Sociedad Civil,
Civilis Derechos Humanos,
Clima21 – Ambiente y Derechos Humanos,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Distrito Capital y Estado Miranda,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Estado Barinas,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Estado Carabobo,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Estado Nva.Esparta,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Estado Vargas,
Colegio de Bioanalistas del Estado Zulia,
Colegio de Enfermería del Edo Vargas,
Colegio de Profesionales de Enfermería Acarigua Portuguesa,
Comisión de DDHH de la Federación Venezolana de Colegios de Abogados del estado Apure,
Comisión para los Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia (Codhez),
Comunidad en Movimiento A.C.,
Control Ciudadano para la Seguridad, la Defensa, y la Fuerza Armada Nacional,
Convite AC,
Defensa en Acción,
Escuela de Cine y Televisión A.C.,
Excubitus DDHH,
FAM – Apure,
Federación de Colegios de Bioanalistas de Venezuela, FECOBIOVE,
Federación Médica Venezolana Monagas,
Foro Ciudadano,
Foro Hatillano,
FUNCAMAMA, Fundación de lucha contra el cáncer de mama,
Fundacion Aguaclara,
Fundación Centro Gumilla
Fundación El Zulia Recicla,
Fundación Humana,
Fundación La Gran Victoria,
Fundación Mavid Carabobo
Fundación Punto Ecologico,
Fundación Váyalo,
Gritemos con Brío,
Hearts On Venezuela
Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público de la Universidad del Zulia,
Instituto Mead de Venezuela A.C.,
Instituto Venezolano de Estudios Sociales y Políticos -INVESP,
Labo Ciudadano,
La Choza del Espíritu Santo A.C.
La Guarura ORG.,
Las Piloneras,
Monagas tu Voto Cuenta S.C.
Movimiento Ciudadano Dale Letra,
Movimiento Ciudadanos Unidos
Movimiento ERES UCV
Observatorio Electoral Venezolano,
Observatorio Global de Comunicación y Democracia,
Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones,
Oportunidad A.C,
Organización Humanitaria Las Vírgenes,
Organización Humanitaria Zona 10 A.C.,
Positivos en Colectivo,
Profesores Ucevistas por la Unidad de las Fuerzas Democráticas,
Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos PROVEA
Proyecta Ciudadanía,
Proyecto 860 de Táchira,
Proyecto Mujeres,
Redhnna, Red por los derechos humanos de niñas, niños y adolescentes,
Red de Observación Electoral de la Asamblea de Educación,
Red Sinergia,
Resonalia. Org.
Reunificados ORG,
RVG+ Red venezolana de gente positiva,
Save My Identity,
Sociedad Hominis Iura (SOHI),
Sociedad Venezolana de Ingenieros de Minas y Metalúrgicos SVIMM,
Transparencia Venezuela,
T.R.E.N VENEZUELA (Talleres de reconstruccion nacional)
Una Ventana a la Libertad,
Uniandes – Apunet – Unet
Unidad Intergremial Nva.Esparta (UINE)
Unión de Iglesias Cristianas de Venezuela ( UNICRISTIANA)
Unión por Venezuela,
Unión Vecinal para la Participación Ciudadana
Universidad de los Andes
Urban Ride Caracas,
Voces Vitales Venezuela
Voto Joven
Zona de Descarga,

Signing Individuals:
Mibelis Acevedo Donís, Comunicadora Social/ Periodista
Carolina Acosta-Alzuru, Profesora
Eduardo Aldrey
Luis Alemán, Acción Solidaria
Yaya Andueza, Periodista
Jorge Botti.
Feliciano Reyna Ganteaume
Claudia Nikken
Félix Seijas
Jesús Castellanos Vásquez
Juan Andrés Gonzalez Briceño
Juan Berríos
Francisco González Cruz
Carole Leal Curiel, Academia Nacional de la Historia
Francisco Martínez G. Empresario – ExPresidente FEDECAMARAS
Lope Mendoza Fedecamaras
Roberto A Picón H
María Luisa Planchart de Alemán. Accion Solidaria
Alba Purroy Activista Social
Inés Quintero. Academia Nacional de la Historia
Juan Manuel Trak. Investigador
Maribel Guedez
Yaniska Franquiz
Andrés Martínez-Rotundo
Grisel Mercadante
Carmen Lucrecia González Coronel
Nataly Carvajal
José Cortez
María Auxiliadora Rondón
Francisco de Sola Lander
Jesús Urbina
Danisbel Gómez
Adriana González
Carmen T Figueroa
Betty Aguilera
Iraní Acosta
Jesús González
Milagros Colmenares
Isabel Quiroz
Alfredo Loyo
Andrés Coba
Keta Stephany
Morella Alvarado Miquelena
Edgard González Pedrón
Luis Marín Valerio
Eliseo Sierra
Luis Alvarado B.
Mariela Ramírez
María Copello
Alvaro José Galindo Marcano
Margarita López Maya
Claudio Bifano
Victoria Bustillos
Gladys Roca
Mary Teresa Peña de Omaña
Jacqueline Richter
Victor Rago
Eddi Rosales
Emilia Maluenga
Milagros Pérez
Alix García
Fabiola Rojas
Hector Lucena
Yely Rebolledo
Oswaldo Fantes
Pedro Delgado
Orlando Vizcarrondo
Rebeca Sucre
Nely Devia
Hector Brito
Ricardo Castro
Germán Rodríguez Bustamante, Profesor ULA.
Mireya Lozada
Carlos Vielma
Magaly Chacón
Juan Luis Sosa
Josefa Vivas
Marianela Cifuentes
Jesús Lárez
Juan Carlos Fernández Montoya
José Luis Farias Correa
Ilvia Rojas
Elizabeth Angulo
Carmen Rosa Pérez
Nancy Tannoux
Lisseth Mogollón
Humberto Rojas
Luisa Rodríguez Tariba
Alexa Contreras
Belkis Zabaleta
Alberto Baradat
Freddy Rincón Noriega
Raúl Sánchez Urribarri
Gregory Arvelo
José Ignacio Casal Pérez
Alexander Medina
Armando Cárdenas
Magaly Couret
Eduardo Matute Alfonzo
María Chiquinquirá Parra Pietro
Carlos Romero Mendoza
Adalberto Pérez Perdomo
Ludmila Calvo
Soliria Menegatti
Andrés José Hoyo Matheus
Jaime Lorenzo
Francisco Alfaro Pareja
Isabel Pereire Pizani
Maria Gabriela Mata Carnevali
Goretti Coelho
Diego Borges
Carlos Medina
Félix María Ríos Álvarez
Yadira Rosales
Enrique Marín
Apóstol Elías Rincón
José Miguel Avendaño
Beatris González Vivas
Luz Mely Reyes
Nelson Oyarzabal
Zully Simmonds
María Aranda
Eugenio Martínez, Periodista
Luis Vázquez
Yurizahima Quintana
Ángel Zambrano Cobo
Carlos Ñañez, Profesor Universidad de Carabobo
Mauricio Gutiérrez
José Manuel Tello Cubillán
María Cristina Parra
Luisa Pernalete
Belkis Si
Ismael Pérez Gil
Rosa Díaz
Vladimiro Mujica
Maria Elena Maggi
Arnaldo Esté
Josefina Maggi De Cano
Pablo Miguel Peñaranda Hernández
Arnaldo García Pérez
María Fernanda Madriz
Pablo Biderbost
María de la Paz Silva Batatina, Profesora de la UPEL-IPC
Flerida Reginfo
Marina Mujica
Carlos Aponte Blank
Diana Rengifo Carrillo
Helene Sánchez
José Gregorio Afonso Castilla
Jesús Mijares Pitaluga
Deborah Van Berkel
José Gregorio Fernández
María Fernanda Montero
Félix Martínez
Germán Millán
Josefa Márquez Lupi
Oscar Pinto Arnó
María del Rosario Méndez Rivas
Lilian Gluck
Francisco Castro Mayora
Rosario Fernández López
Ligia Palacios de Ocariz
Carlos Troconis
Willians Costa
Mauro Martínez
Carolina Arnal
Rafael Santana
Astrid Avendaño
Fabian López Chacón
María Teresa Urreiztieta
Rafael Veloz García
Luz María Márquez Negretti
Magaly Ramírez
Cruz Antonio Hernández Cárdenas
Gregorio Salazar
Rolando Barrientos
Ana Máría Velasquez Zabaleta
Leonardo Pachano Mendoza
Oswaldo Guzmán
Nancy Cardozo
Beatriz Cisneros
Blanca Isabel Chirivella Bencomo
Roger Alberto Cedeño Hidalgo
Indira Urbaneja
Griselda Colina
Armando Cárdenas
Alinis Aranguren
Andrés Chumaceiro
Carolina Acosta Alzuru
Dimitris Pantoulas
Pedro Inatty
Lorena Melendez
Álvaro Entralgo Ruedas
María Cristina Capriles
Maite Espinasa
María de los Ángeles Rivero Muñoz