Africa is an even better example. In terms of natural resources, Africa is the richest place on earth. The belief that government is the answer to all problems is the reason that it is the poorest place on earth.
You cannot blame colonialism -- much as some of you want to. Nearly every land adopted socialism and crashed to the bottom within a few years of independence, Zimbabwe being only the most egregious example.
India also adopted socialism and cruised at the bottom of the economic pool for many years -- then in the 1990's they discovered free markets (or at least, freeer markets). Still too much government, but proof that reducing government makes peoples' lives better.