Jan. 13, 1964 - Premier Fidel Castro flew to Moscow today for the second time in less than a year, but neither Premier Khrushchev’s welcoming remarks nor Castro’s reply shed further light on the reasons for the trip, which had all the earmarks of having been arranged on short notice. Soviet officials insisted that Castro was responding to an invitation extended on his previous visit. At the foot of the gangway, Castro and Khrushchev embraced. The Cuban leader exchanged further hugs inside the airport building in Moscow with President Leonid Brezhnev and with Anastas Mikoyan, a First Deputy Premier and a frequent visitor to Cuba.
“Dear Comrade Castro,” Khrushchev said in the modern reception hall at Vnukovo Airport, “we are very pleased that you kept your word and came to the Soviet Union once again. You were here in May and saw our country in spring and summertime. We asked you then to come again to see our country in winter with its snows and frosts.” Premier Khrushchev, in an aside, chided Castro about Moscow winter temperatures. The Cuban leader had been rubbing his ungloved hands during the outdoor arrival ceremonies in 21-degree weather. “Do not judge our January from the first minutes,” Khrushchev said. “This is just a baby frost. For the best skiing, the temperature must go down to at least 10 below.” On the Fahrenheit scale, that is 14 degrees above zero. In his reply, Castro dwelt on Soviet economic aid. He said it was helping Cubans “overcome some of the difficulties experienced at one time by the Soviet people.”