To maintain tax-exempt status given by the IRS and legally operate as a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) private foundation, all donations must be for strictly charitable purposes and are subject to special restrictions, including:
a) Prohibition of lobbying and political activity.
b) The Foundation must select its beneficiaries independently, without external interference, and it is prohibited from making donations or transactions for “self-benefit” (self-dealing) or with PDVSA authorities or the arm of the Venezuelan government that controls PDVSA.
c) No family member or organization belonging to CITGO, PDVSA, or the arm of the Venezuelan government that controls PDVSA or National Assembly can receive charitable grants from the Foundation.
In addition, the Foundation has defined eligibility criteria, which include that grant applicants may not be related, in its broadest scope, with officials of any government.