“I Don’t Know How to Hate”

By Julio Antonio Fernández Estrada (El Toque)

Attorney Julio Antonio Fernández Estrada. Illustration: Kyn Torres

HAVANA TIMES – Some people use Jose Marti, others carry his passion and ideas, weighing more than a mountain. He said he couldn’t hate. I feel I can’t either, because you learn to hate with discipline and practice. You don’t hate spontaneously, it’s a matter of severity and cold bloodedness.

I’m not going to start hating at 45 years old. That is a difficult “career” needed to be “studied” from early childhood. I was not accepted in that “course” due to my excessive love and inability.

You can say anything about me, I hope good faith and divine impulse are noticed in my actions. Hate in the form of slander and burning offenses may come but won’t rebound off me as they dissipate in the wind.

I am a lawyer. I believe in Law and rights. Not as a first or last truth, but instead for its ability to seek justice amid fairness.

Without justice, freedom is a song. What we need is a balanced law, the perpetual will to give each one his due. Without equity the law can become a cyst, a shapeless stone without the intention of rolling or being carved. With equity, the magistrates bring justice to the specific case from the law.

Without justice freedom is meaningless. What beauty is there in not knowing what to grab on to? What beauty is there in watching force used by the powerful on the weak.  In evidencing the discomfort of the oppressed and in observing disdainfully how that beast called hate is fed?

We lawyers must respond and assist. We must do science with legal institutions and apply rules to solve problems. We must represent those who need us, and with the truth of law and philosophical prudence, show the path to justice.

If a lawyer doesn’t advise, or lies and confuses the one consulting them, they commit a crime affecting the one in need’s confidence. In so doing they undermine the value of law to obtain order and peace.

If an individual or a group of people ask me for help as a lawyer and I deny it or I scorn them for their ideas and motives, I deserve to be branded shameful for abandoning those who want to find answers in the law, and for mortally wounding the Law.

It is not a secret that I don’t belong to San Isidro Movement. But laws can be a mystery for those who haven’t studied them; we are also lawyers to teach them. I don’t belong to 27N, but I will never look elsewhere when asked for help, not only for what I know but for who I am.

A Lawyer who doesn’t take the side of those in need has a secure life of comforts and luxuries. But the bitterness of their dishonor will fill their dreams with terrible images, of hatred and helplessness.

The Law should promote dialogue, with its spirit of conciliation, balance, consensus, humanism. It can illuminate the rough paths of resentment and can deter violence and excess.

If lawyers cannot participate in conflicts, in social crises, in episodes of state obfuscation and the heat of protest, then our role is miserable and inconsequential.

Lawyers are not only citizens with political ideas and civic interests. They are citizens obliged to provide an accompaniment service like the one requested by 27N members.

I won’t hate those accusing me of being a salaried employee of organizations I do not know and writing what they order me to. Read, those who attack me, what I write, and imagine a payer writing a script for my articles. Justice is here, with me, it looks at me with eyes of hope. A truth blows in my ear like a song: Cuba will be saved from hatred and violence if the perseverance of Themis and the energy of Dike do not cease.

Cuba will be saved from resentment, misunderstanding between brothers and sisters, from power’s pride and the resentment of the injured, with all rights for all people, with all possible justice for every human being who feels like a son or daughter of this land.

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