Argentina's president-elect Mauricio Macri said Monday he would call for Venezuela to be suspended from the South American trade bloc Mercosur over its government's alleged rights abuses against political opponents.
"We are going to invoke the democratic clause against Venezuela," Macri told reporters.
That protocol allows a Mercosur member to be suspended with the agreement of all the others if it is seen to have violated democratic principles.
Macri added: "It is appropriate because of the abuses and the persecution of the opposition" in Venezuela, where right-wing rivals of President Nicolas Maduro have been imprisoned and barred from elections.
The market-friendly conservative forced a political shift in Argentina by winning a runoff election on Sunday, ending 12 years of leftist government.
Argentina's outgoing President Cristina Kirchner is a Maduro ally.
Venezuela holds legislative elections on December 6 that opinion polls show the opposition could win, raising the prospect of a broader rightward trend in Latin American politics.
Mercosur's full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Venezuela's opposition MUD coalition hailed Macri's victory as an encouraging sign that change could follow in their country too.
Macri's win "goes hand in hand with the imminent victory of the Venezuelan people on December 6," it said in a statement.