Rafael Eduardo Estrella Virella (born June 5, 1953) is a civil engineer, entrepreneur and Dominican politician. He served as Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications of the Dominican Republic during the second term 1991–94, of President Joaquín Balaguer and also he served as Senator for the province of Santiago de los Caballeros during the period 1994–98.[1]

Eduardo Estrella
Eduardo Estrella Virella
President of the Partido Dominicanos por el Cambio
Assumed office
January 10, 2010
Senate of the Dominican Republic from Santiago de los Caballeros
In office
August 16, 1994 – August 16, 1998
Succeeded byJosé Rafael Abinader
Secretary of Public Works and Communications
In office
PresidentJoaquín Balaguer
Executive Director of the National Institute of Water and Sewage
In office
PresidentJoaquín Balaguer
Under Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications
In office
PresidentJoaquín Balaguer
Secretary of Second Class in the Dominican Embassy in Mexico
In office
Personal details
Born (1953-06-05) 5 June 1953 (age 66)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Political partyDominicanos por el Cambio
Spouse(s)Arelis Cruz de Estrella
ChildrenPaula, Mabel and Eduardo Guarionex
ResidenceSantiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
Alma materUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México UNAM
OccupationPolitician, Entrepreneur, Civil Engineer

Estrella is one of the few Dominican politicians recognized and highly valued for his honesty and cleanliness during the years he was in the public exercise, and out of these. He was the first presidential candidate of the Social Christian Reformist Party after the death of its leader, Dr. Joaquín Balaguer, after being elected in March 2003 as a presidential candidate of that organization. In 2007 he resigned from that organization to build a new party, since Social Christian Reformist Party was attached to the current government of Dominican Liberation Party and what he firmly opposed during the years, thus forming the Dominicans for Change Party, which currently is the president.

Early life, education, and political careerEdit

Rafael Eduardo Estrella Virella was born on June 5, 1953, the son of Mayor General Guarionex Estrella and Mabel Elisa Virella de Estrella and grandson of General Pedro Antonio Estrella (Piro). Her siblings are Paula, Mabel, Guarionex and Rosa Margarita. He married to Arelis Cruz Estrella and they have three children: Paula Isabel, Eduardo Guarionex and Elisa Mabel. He is also the nephew of the national hero Salvador Estrella Sadhalá. He is married to Arelis Cruz de Estrella and they have three children. In 1961, when Estrella was 8 years old, his father was arrested and tortured under suspicion of complicity in the assassination of dictator Rafael Trujillo. Estrella describes this as the formative event of his youth.

Eduardo Estrella is from the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, Santiago, known as a breeding ground for politicians. He comes from a prominent family that protected opponents of Rafael Trujillo's 1930-61 dictatorship. His father and grandfather were senior military officers, and an uncle was among the conspirators who assassinated Trujillo a group now revered as national heroes.

Eduardo Estrella began his primary education at the Colegio Calasanz de Santo Domingo, continuing at the Colegio de la Salle in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, which also took place in high school. His university studies were conducted at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), the United States of Mexico. Estrella graduated from the Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM) with a civil engineering degree, and PRSC President Balaguer appointed him second secretary at the Dominican Embassy in Mexico City. Estrella returned to the Santiago area and served as president of the Northern Regional Dominican School of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors. Elected as Santiago's senator in 1986, he was appointed by Balaguer as Under Secretary for Public Works and Communications and in 1991 advanced to Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications, a post he held until 1994. Estrella returned to his elected position in the Senate from 1994-1998.

Estrella was politicized early and has described himself as a "Reformista at birth" He began his political career at age 19, when Balaguer appointed him as a Second Secretary in the Dominican Embassy in Mexico (Estrella was simultaneously undertaking civil engineering studies at the National Autonomous University (UNAM)). Estrella established a personal relationship with Balaguer after inviting Balaguer to his wedding to Arelis Cruz.

After being elected in the vice-mayor's office in Santiago in 1986, Estrella rose quickly through the Reformista ranks. He appeared as a personal favorite of Balaguer, as indicated by a series of increasingly important positions during the second Balaguer administration, including Undersecretary of Public Works (1986–90), Director of the National Institute for Potable Water and Sewage Treatment (1990–91), and Secretary of State for Public Works (1991–94). He was hand-picked by Balaguer to stand for the Senate seat for the Province of Santiago in 1998, which he won. Opposition political figures speak favorably of his time in the Senate, describing him as a "mediator." He was ultimately appointed to the Party's Executive Committee.

Public offices heldEdit

  • Senate of the Dominican Republic from Santiago de los Caballeros for the period 1994–98. In that role actively participated in the adoption of the Law 24-97 Against Domestic Violence, Education 66-97, 352-98 Protection for the Elderly, among others.
  • Appointed Secretary Second Class in the Dominican Embassy in Mexico in 1972 .
  • President of the Northern Regional Dominican College of Engineers, Architects and Surveyors, CODIA in 1984–85 .
  • Elected Trustee Alternate to Santiago de los Caballeros in the 1986–90 period.
  • Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications of the President Dr. Joaquín Balaguer during the period 1986–90.
  • Executive Director of the National Institute of Water and Wastewater, INAP, 1990–91.
  • Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications (SEOPC) in the years 1991–94. Where hemade an efficient management, transparent to employees, contractors and the public.

Personally supervising all the works executed and maintenance assistantships across the country. In its management works was awarded to engineers, architects and master builders, without whatever their politics, as remarkable secretary he accomplished many projects such as:

  • Built hundreds of schools across the country.
  • He ran a national plan to rebuild roads.
  • Twin bridge construction Mella, Juan Bosch, Villa Rivas on Yuna River.
  • Expansion the airport of Puerto Plata.
  • Landing strip construction of Barahona Airport.
  • The breakwater and the freight yard of Haina Pier.
  • Rebuilt Puerto Manzanillo
  • The Avenida del Puerto construction, and Ave. Mexico as well.
  • The expansion of the Núñez de Cáceres with the tunnel
  • The Republic of Colombia, Santo Domingo;
  • The Yapur Dumit avenue and the Yaque River Bridge, Las Carreras Avenue and General Santiago Lopez Ave.
  • Gran Teatro del Cibao

He paved hundreds of miles of streets and avenues in the main cities of the national territory, covering every street reconstruction of each of the municipalities in the border region of the country, from Manzanillo to Pedernales. The national plan for construction of housing projects, both apartments as homes, which took place throughout the national territory .

Always standing by its cleanliness and honesty, being recognized by important figures in the construction sector in the Dominican Republic, such as Diego de Moya who outlines a brief history of how Eduardo Estrella saved money to the country and defended local businesses when he wrote an article entitled "Patriotism is to strengthen RD companies" in the Periodico el Caribe did publish. On that occasion it was the remodeling of the Gregorio Luperon International Airport. The work was done with the airport operational in less time than the French international offer, with more teams, with 40% less and with an economy of 20 million dollars. This is a tangible example of what can be done for the benefit of our country and benefit the construction of the same.

Held political officeEdit

  • Candidate for President of the Dominican Republic by the Social Christian Reformist Party in the elections of May 2004.
  • Candidate for President of the Republic for the 2008 elections by a coalition of the fourth pathway composed of the Social Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRSD), Dominican Humanist (PHD) Organized National Front Movement (FRENO) and Dominican Movement for Change (DxC).
  • President and Founder of the Partido Dominicanos por el Cambio - DxC .
  • Founding member of the Foundation Dr. Joaquín Balaguer.

Candidate for President of the Dominican RepublicEdit

Eduardo Estrella, 2004 presidential candidate for the third-ranked Social Christian Reform Party (PRSC or "Reformistas") and the second-place finisher in the fraud-wracked 2007 PRSC presidential primary, suggested in a July 13 meeting with Charge Bullen and poloff that he had for all intents and purposes left the PRSC. Estrella said his mission now is to launch an independent movement that stresses both morality and political activism - both themes of his unsuccessful primary campaign. The unstated motivation for leaving was his inability to inspire loyalty within the party leadership, combined with his personal distaste for PRSC presidential nominee Amable Aristy Castro. Estrella had slid from prominence over the last several years and there is no evidence to suggest that his departure will split the Party.

As presidential candidate Eduardo Estrella and Dominicans for Change Party support their management proposal government in reducing current expenditure, domestic savings, the rejection of tax policy and external debt, creating jobs, promoting small and medium enterprises, promotion of foreign exchange earnings, reducing cost of living and investment in education, health and housing among others.


  1. ^ "Portada - El Caribe". El Caribe. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2014-08-30.