(Citgo, 30.Oct.2020) — Given the recent accusations made by representatives of the Nicolás Maduro regime, the Simón Bolívar Foundation, the private non-profit foundation of Citgo Petroleum Corporation, categorically rejects the allegations regarding the Foundation’s activities and its President Ms. Mariela Poleo, for being completely false and unfounded.
The Simón Bolívar Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization in the United States and as a private organization, registered with the U.S. tax authority, its performance is highly regulated in terms of the type of activities it can perform. The Simón Bolívar Foundation is explicitly and strictly prohibited from financing political parties and any political activity in the United States and in any other country. 501(c)(3) foundations can only conduct charitable activities that the U.S. tax system and other American organizations strictly supervises and regulates.
Since the new Board of Directors took over the control of Citgo in 2019, it has worked tirelessly to adopt the best standards of corporate governance, internal controls, and transparency, and at the same time, the mission of the Simón Bolívar Foundation was redefined: a future where access to basic health care is a fundamental human right that reaches all vulnerable Venezuelans inside and outside of Venezuela. All of these efforts have been transparently detailed in each of the Foundation’s performance reports to its sole member, Citgo, regulatory organizations in the Unites States and in the Foundation press releases.
The Simón Bolívar Foundation has been extremely rigorous with the organizations it works with, limiting itself to 501(c)(3) organizations registered in the United States and other qualified organizations that follow the same high standards of transparency and corporate governance as Citgo. The Foundation has not only trained its entire work team under the best practices in charitable activities but has also offered the same training to the organizations it works with to hand in hand improve the standards of excellence for all.
It must be noted that all grant agreements signed with the Simón Bolívar Foundation are drawn up with rigid compliance with the laws, anti-corruption and conflicts of interest clauses, including grant ineligibility to private 501 (c)(3) organizations that have members with any kind of family connections with persons in any Government or any political organization.
The mission of the Simón Bolívar Foundation is and always will be to improve the health of vulnerable populations, with special attention to mothers and children of Venezuelans inside and outside Venezuela. The Complex Humanitarian Crisis that the country is experiencing and further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, needs immediate attention. The Simón Bolívar Foundation categorically rejects any intention to penalize, in such an inconceivable way, the valuable assistance that has been provided to these people in need.